Hill expects tough forward battle at Northampton

Warriors Head Coach Richard Hill expects the Northampton Saints forward pack to try and dominate the game when the two sides meet on Saturday.

Worcester travel to Franklin’s Gardens to take on a Northampton side who have won every game this season and Hill has warned his men to be wary of the threat posed by the Saints forwards.

He said: “Along with Leicester, Northampton have the strongest forward pack in the league. The difference is Northampton will use their forwards more.

“Their forwards are used as a real weapon and they will scrummage at every opportunity they get. They’ll scrummage from line-outs and keep the ball at the back until they work a scoring opportunity or earn a penalty.”

Northampton have beaten Bath, Exeter and Gloucester in their opening three games of the season and Hill believes they will be a tough prospect on Saturday.

“I saw Northampton play against Exeter and Gloucester, who possess two very good packs, and they’ve driven them for fun quite honestly. Their forward pack has been completely dominant.

“Because their line-out overall is so strong, they have lots of different movements off that. They’ll be attacking from the front using the front peel and they’ll be attacking from the back using the back peel.

“Much of our work this week has focused around how we combat that and how we defend against the line-out drive.”

Hill was at the Recreation Ground in Bath last Friday to watch Northampton in action and believes parts of the Saints’ game can be exploited.

“Bath dealt very well with Northampton’s scrum and line-outs and almost won the game. If we can emulate how Bath played, we could get a good result on Saturday,” he added.

“The players have been working hard this week after Saturday’s disappointment and they can’t wait to get going against Northampton.”