Jim Mallinder feels Courtney Lawes is keen to prove a point after being dropped by England during the Six Nations.
And the Saints boss was delighted with how his lock performed in last Sunday’s 29-23 success against Harlequins.
Lawes, who was initially named on the bench for that game after recovering from an ankle injury, came into the side at late notice in place of Christian Day.
And he proceeded to propel Saints to victory, setting up the first try for Alex Waller before scoring one of his own.
It was a first try since September 2012 for the imposing second row forward, who was left out by England boss Eddie Jones after playing a part in the first two Six Nations matches.
Lawes did make a rapid return due to an injury to Joe Launchbury, but when the Wasps man regained full fitness, the Saints star was jettisoned again.
He proceeded to start for his club in the win at Saracens, where he picked up an ankle injury.
But he recovered from that in time to play a key role in the win against Quins.
And Mallinder said: “He put in a big performance did Courtney.
“He knew Eddie Jones was coming and he was disappointed that he was dropped by England.
“I don’t think he’s ever been dropped before in his life so he’s out to prove a point.
“Hopefully he can do that over these next few games for us and then we’ll see how he does for the Australia tour (during the summer).”