SAINTS had no game at the weekend, so they travel to play London Broncos at the Stoop at Twickenham on Sunday refreshed and keen to carry on from where they left off against Catalans.

Coach Paul Wellens gave an update on Saints matter in the build up to that.

MC: I bet Matty Smith returned to training with a smile after the weekend’s success?

PW: He was very happy with the win for the Saints Women. Jodie Cunningham came in to training on Tuesday and spent the day training with us as well. So it was good. It’s a great opportunity for us to congratulate them both for a great performance at the weekend.

MC: So how has the things been team wise since the last outing against Catalans – and what have you been able to do in the absence of a match day?

PW: Initially after the Catalans game we gave the players a few days off to refresh and then we had a really good training week.

We had some tough sessions thrown in there to really challenge the players and then start the preparation for the London game at the weekend.

We’ve got the balance right between a bit of downtime that the players needed, but combined with a fair bit of hard work as well.

Rather than call it rest, it actually extra time for recovery to put the players in a position where they can cope with the demands of training when we up the intensity levels and we feel we will get benefit from that.

MC: I know there are a few medium to long term casualties but has the week off assisted anybody who’s been carrying knocks?

PW: With the guys that carried a few bumps and bruises we have managed to look after them a little bit.

We have asked a lot of some players this year and it just gives them a little bit of extra time to not be under pressure to turn themselves around for a game.

In terms of the guys laid up with injuries there’s no change there.


MC: Looking back to the last game Konrad Hurrell had an ice pack – how is he?

PW: He trained on the field with us today (Tuesday) and will train again on Thursday afternoon, which is going to be an important session for him. He’s progressing well and the early signs are that he’s going to be good to go, but the session on Thursday will be a big determining factor in that.

Everyone else is fit and I don’t think the squad will look too dissimilar to what it looked against Catalans.

MC: Without disrespecting London, does this game give you an opportunity to bring anybody in to the first team who’s perhaps not featured yet?

PW: Potentially – we will look at our options there, but it is certainly not a case of because it is London – we have a lot of respect for them.

Playing back at the Stoop is going to energise them and we are preparing for a tough game.

If players get opportunities, it’s not because we’re playing any specific tea it is because those players about those opportunities, there’s potential for that to happen, but also I want a performance and I want to keep rewarding the guys who have been doing a good job in the last few weeks.

MC: You will have some happy memories from playing at the Stoop, but it is always nice playing down there because there’s a lot of London Saints fans down there – people and families who moved away in the 80s and 90s.

PW: We generally take a pretty healthy away following to places like London, so we’re looking forward to playing in front of our fans down in the capital, playing at the Stoop – somewhere I played myself back in the day – a lovely stadium to play at.

We are excited to be getting that playing first and foremost, but playing in London adds to that excitement.


MC: They’re playing with no pressure and they will want to play well against the league leaders and team with the Saints name. What are the dangers of playing the side like London and things you have got to avoid?

PW: I just want us to really attack the game the way that I’ve been doing in recent weeks.

And I feel our playing group at this moment time is in a good frame of mind even with our injury worries and key players sat on the sidelines.

There’s an energy about the team at the moment and the smiles on their faces every day when they come to work.

Now I want that to reflect in our performance. We have got to play the game, and stay true to our identity and part of that is respecting the opposition.