Tom Wood admits Alex King’s Saints exit is ‘brutal’ - and the skipper says the players must shoulder some of the blame.
King left Northampton by mutual agreement on Friday, with Jim Mallinder’s men yet to really fire in the Aviva Premiership this season.
They have won just two of their six games England’s top division this season, with only Newcastle Falcons and Bristol scoring fewer points so far.
But the day after King’s departure, Saints managed to edge to a 16-14 victory against Montpellier in the Champions Cup opener at Franklin’s Gardens.
And after that game, Wood was asked about King’s departure from Saints.
“It’s brutal,” the captain said.
“Without going into the rights and wrongs of the decision, it’s brutal when an individual takes the fall for what has been an overall underachievement.
“We’ve got to take some responsiblity and hold our hands up for that as players.
“On a personal note, Kingy’s a great bloke, I’ve always got on very well with him and it’s a real shame because he’s a family man and it’s his livelihood at stake.
“On a human level, it is brutal but in a business sense things have to move on, we have to evolve and keep getting better ourselves and I guess that’s what the decision’s been like.”
Wood was also asked how training was in the build-up to the battle with Montpellier, with King not present.
And he said: “We had to simplify things and go back to the drawing board, and sometimes that can be a weight off your mind.
“You remember that rugby is a simple game after all and you just have to get the basics right.
“You have to win the physical collisions and as difficult as it is for Kingy and as disruptive as it can be, it can be a weight off your mind to simplify things in that way and get back to basics.”