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Tommy Freeman: 'Energy and intent' will help Northampton Saints in Europe

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Published in Rugby
Monday, 04 December 2023 02:26

Northampton Saints centre Tommy Freeman believes their growing maturity will stand them in good stead in Europe.

Saints have lost their last 10 Champions Cup matches since reaching the quarter-finals in 2019-20.

They start a new campaign away to Glasgow Warriors on Friday after beating Saracens in the Premiership.

"If we put our game on the pitch and come out with energy and intent like that, we can put a lot of teams away," Freeman told BBC Radio Northampton.

"We've got the skills to do it. There was that immaturity previously with us, but if we can keep backing up our defensive performance (against Sarries) and bringing loads of energy, I think the results will come.

"Training's not going to change, we're going to go after all the same things and hopefully come out with some good results in Europe as well."

Saints lifted what was then called the Heineken Cup in 2000 but their most recent trophy success in Europe came in the Challenge Cup in 2013-14, when they beat Bath 30-16 in the final.

The last two seasons, though, have been big disappointments, losing all four Champions Cup games to finish bottom of their pool each time.

They have won five of their last six matches in this season's Premiership, though, and are only two points behind leaders Sale Sharks.

The victory at Saracens came after preventing the defending champions getting on the scoresheet in the first half.

"The situations and scenarios that we do in training, we're implementing in the games as well," Freeman said.

"They are a team that fight. Momentum can change. Referees can go one way or the other, things happen in a game. Credit to the lads for sticking at them for 80 minutes.

"They've been champions for (much of) the last decade, always at the top, so to get that win and put in that performance is massive for us moving forwards."

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