Ribbans ready to deliver silverware for Saints

David Ribbans during Saints training this weekDavid Ribbans during Saints training this week
David Ribbans during Saints training this week
David Ribbans is back from England duty and injury - now he wants to steer Saints to silverware.

Ribbans' only recent outing for his club came in the win against Worcester Warriors late last month, when he scored a second-half try and shone in a superb 62-14 success at Sixways.

Concussion ruled him out of last Saturday's stunning 43-39 comeback win at the Dragons, which earned Saints a place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup.

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They will host Ulster at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday night (kick-off 8pm).

And fit-again lock Ribbans said: "I'm happy here at the Saints with a good group of guys and I want to do something special this season and win some silverware.

"That's where my head is at at the moment, just doing well for Saints.

"It's nice to have the recognition that they (the England coaches) are seeing what you're doing and be called up but I don't let it affect me too much.

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"I know the only way to keep getting selected is to perform well for Saints.

"It's quarter-final rugby this week and it's really exciting.

"We're still in two competitions, which is great, and it's a chance to win some silverware that this club desperately needs.

"It's been a really exciting week and we're looking forward to the challenge.

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"Ulster are a great side with a lot of history and it's going to be a tough old game so we're really looking forward to it."

Ribbans knows Saints will have to be at their best to beat an Ulster team who cruised to a 57-21 win at Harlequins last Sunday.

"This weekend is going to be a completely different challenge for us and we can't afford to go 20 points behind against a side like Ulster because they're too clinical and too good," he said.

"Defensive mindset has to be right this weekend but we always love to attack and that's the way Boydy coaches us to play.

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"We have to be resolute defensively and at the same time enjoy the occasion."

As for his own fitness, Ribbans said: "I'm all good. I passed my HIA and went through the protocol I had to do all good.

"The nose is fine, stitches are out, broken nose but I'm all good, ready to go."

Ribbans was called into the England camp during the Six Nations but didn't get any game time.

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He returned to Saints and immediately impressed in that win against Worcester.

And on the superb display at Sixways, he modestly said: "It was alright, I got stuck in and did a bit of work.

"It's good to be back playing.

"I had three weeks of training with England but not actually playing.

"It took me a bit of time to settle back into it at Saints but it was good to get a run-out.

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"It's a great honour to be part of the England squad but all professional sportsmen want to be playing at the weekend and have ambitions to play so it was disappointing not to get a run-out.

"But I know what they want from me, I'll keep working and it was nice to come back to the Saints and play.

"It wasn't ideal to be out last weekend but I'm back in this weekend and looking forward to it."

Ribbans is still living with Alex Mitchell, and both players are shining for Saints right now.

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"We're still going strong," Ribbans said. "We've both got skewed noses!

"I've lived with Mitch for pretty much my whole time in England.

"It's probably only a year and a half I haven't lived with him.

"When I first moved over the club put me in an Academy house and he happened to be in the top room in the house and I was put in a little box room. Can you believe it?

"But a couple of years down the line we're still living together and still going strong.

"He's playing some good rugby at the moment and hopefully he can keep performing for us."

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