Skipper Wood in optimistic mood as Saints gear up for big kick-off

Tom Wood says he is '˜100 per cent' optimistic about the new season at Saints.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 12:17 pm
Updated Friday, 26th August 2016, 1:21 pm
Tom Wood will skipper Saints this season (picture: Sharon Lucey)

The flanker was made club captain during the summer and has set about banishing the previous campaign’s disappointment at Franklin’s Gardens.

Saints finished fifth in the Aviva Premiership and reached the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup.

But Jim Mallinder’s men were still disappointed with the season as they missed out on the Premiership play-offs for the first time since 2009.

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And ahead of next Saturday’s season opener against Bath at the Gardens, Wood said: “I’m 100 per cent optimistic about this year.

“There was a lot of frustration last year because we felt we did underachieve, but if we look back on it and break it down, we’ve taken a load of lessons and things to improve.

“But when you look at it and think that given we had the noose round our neck of the underachievement and what we got wrong, we were still one win off a qualifying place in the top four and we were still European quarter-finalists.

“So while there was a lot of inconsistency and some dark days, there were also some good performances in there as well.

“The talent in the group is unquestionable - we’ve got the group of players - it’s just about pulling it all together and getting that cohesion.

“I think once we get that and correct a few things we didn’t get right last year, start the season with a bang and we’ll be flying from there.”