Saints prop Francois starting to get into his stride
Francois van Wyk believes he's beginning to get into his stride.
And the prop is setting his sights on a run of games in the Saints No.1 shirt as he bids to keep improving in the black, green and gold.
Van Wyk has been in and out of the team this season, starting four games and coming off the bench in five.
He has the likes of co-captain Alex Waller, experienced Kiwi prop Ben Franks and youngster Toby Trinder as competition.
And van Wyk said: "I was injured for the first couple of games and I'm just getting back into my stride.
"Boydy (Saints boss Chris Boyd) has been good with rotation between me, Alex Waller and Ben Franks and he'll keep doing that.
"You always want to start but there's a bigger picture and it's a long season.
"If you get refreshed it will be good for the team as well because the guy behind me or in front of me will always put a great shift in.
"I'm still learning a lot and I want to get better.
"I want to push for that No.1 spot.
"With all the looseheads at the club, competition is great for us and it brings the best out of us.
"I'm in a happy place and I'm enjoying my rugby."
Waller got the nod from the off at the AJ Bell Stadium last Saturday, with van Wyk used as a replacement in the 22-10 loss against Sale Sharks.
It was a third successive defeat for Saints, who have endured a tough set of games in December so far.
And ahead of Saturday's home clash with Gloucester, van Wyk said: "It was a tough day last weekend and the boys are hurting. We feel like it was a game we should have won.
"But they were physical and we didn't match that.
"We need to stick to our processes and we know it will work.
"It's been a tough three weeks, but that's sport - you need to be on your A-game every week.
"We're not making any excuses and we'll try to get it right against Gloucester.
"It might be like our games at Bath and Sale because if they've watched us they will want to bring the physicality.
"They'll target us at the breakdown and things like that but we need to stick to our plan because if everything goes right, we can get the result."