Waller enjoying Saints' front row strength

Alex Waller is loving the front row unity that Saints have been building.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 7:00 am
Alex Waller

And the title-winning prop is savouring every minute as part of a dominant Saints pack.

Saints have really started to put the squeeze on sides up front, leading to an upturn of form in 2021.

They beat Sale Sharks 17-14 at Franklin's Gardens last weekend and are now setting their sights on table-topping Bristol Bears, who come to Northampton on Sunday.

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And co-captain Waller said: "I'm feeling really good.

"There's a good relationship throughout the whole front row.

"We're all working hard together and sharing the workload, playing a half each or 50/30.

"There's confidence for us to be able to do that and it helps the boys to recover.

"Being able to rotate the squad is fantastic and personally I'm really happy with my form at the moment, especially in the set piece.

"We're performing almost back to where we were and where the fans want us to be so we're happy with that, and long may it continue."

Saints had plenty of tough times during a turbulent 2020, but Waller missed many of them due to being sidelined with an Achilles injury.

He returned for the start of this season and has helped to steer the team towards the top end of the table.

"We were always confident we could put those performances together once everything clicked," Waller said.

"It's slightly different for me because I was a bit detached from the squad when we went through that losing run because I was out with my Achilles injury.

"It was a bit of a benefit that I could see the bigger picture and I wasn't as emotionally involved, even though I was gutted when we lost games. But it's different when you're out there putting your body on the line.

"In a strange way, that spell will do the lads the world of good.

"With a young squad who haven't experienced having their backs up against the wall like that, coming through that spell helps to build a lot of character and resilience.

"Boys learned a lot from that and it's put us in good stead for the future.

"You've seen a couple of games that we'd have lost during that spell that we've managed to see out and win in recent times."

Saints had enjoyed a lengthy run of league defeats at home, but they beat Worcester Warriors on Boxing Day to put a stop to that.

And last weekend's success against Sale means the Gardens is starting to feel like a more difficult place for opposition teams to tread.

"We never like losing, especially at home," Waller said.

"It's disappointing the fans haven't been here to see us win at home, but hopefully it's not too long until they come back.

"We're really enjoying the way the boys are playing and it makes it easier to be captain."

And now for Pat Lam's talented Bristol team...

"Bristol are at the top of the table but you can't step off the gas in any game in the Premiership at the moment," Waller said.

"We're going to be approaching this full on and we're quietly confident in our ability and the way we're starting to perform and hopefully we can show that on Sunday."