Harrison tells holders Saints not to go on the defensive at Sale

Teimana Harrison
Teimana Harrison

Teimana Harrison has told Saints not to go on the defensive when the new season starts on Saturday.

Harrison instead wants his team-mates to view the Premiership Rugby Cup as a new trophy, rather than focusing on their status as holders.

Saints travel to Sale Sharks for this first game of the new campaign, with four cup consecutive cup fixtures preceding their Gallagher Premiership opener at Saracens.

Chris Boyd's men face away trips to Sale and Leicester in the pool stages of the Premiership Rugby Cup, with home games against Wasps and Saracens in between.

And co-captain Harrison, who helped his side beat Saracens in the Franklin's Gardens cup final back in March, said: "We see it as going out to win another trophy, not defending it.

"We don't want to get on the defensive in any competition.

"It's exciting.

"All the boys just want to get out and play rugby - it's what we're here for.

"It's another opportunity to put ourselves in a good position before we go to Saracens in the Prem next month."

Saints warmed up for this weekend's game at the AJ Bell Stadium with a pre-season fixture against Leinster at the Gardens last Thursday.

Harrison and Co were beaten 34-26 in an eventful encounter, in which Saints came back from 22-7 down at half-time to lead 26-22, only to ship two late tries.

They will now face a close to full strength Sale side, who will include the likes of Denny Solomona and Chris Ashton in their starting line-up this weekend.

And Harrison said: "They're a tough team no matter where you play them.

"They're another team who have grown so much in the Premiership and they're very tough.

"But if you look across the board, you're not going to have an easy game any more, whereas a couple of years ago you thought you could rest some players because it was going to be an easier game.

"You won't get so much of that this season."