Foden confident of European success

Date published: October 9 2014

Ben Foden believes Northampton Saints have a good chance of adding more European silverware to their cabinet in the near future.

Northampton full-back Ben Foden believes the Saints have a strong chance of adding more silverware to their cabinet when they participate in the European Champions Cup.

Last year, Jim Mallinder’s side lifted the Challenge Cup trophy before being crowned English champions after beating Saracens in the Premiership final.

But despite winning a rare domestic and European double, the season was one of disappointment for the Saints after they were relegated to Europe’s second tier competition when they finished as runners-up to Leinster in their Heineken Cup group.

Even though the competition has now been rebranded as the European Champions Cup, Foden maintains that winning the competition remains their major ambition, after losing in the final of the European showpiece in 2011.

“I think it’s definitely on our to-do list,” told Sky Sports.

“After our success in the Premiership last season, I think the next step for us is to challenge ourselves against the best teams in Europe and I think we can do that.

“We’re in a tough group, but it is a group we can see ourselves coming out of.”

The new European competition features a slightly changed format, with a similar qualifying format used in the Aviva Premiership, Top 14 and Guinness PRO12.

According to Foden, these changes will suit the Midlands side.

“I think the format has not really suited us that much in the past in terms of minutes and matches played, I think the PRO12 teams could rest players but now they need to make sure they get up there to qualify,” he added.

“I think that will hopefully put us in good stead, but it’s a tough competition to win, you know you have to be the best team in Europe and to do that you have to win all your games.

“It’s a big ask but if you want to compete against the likes of Toulon and Leinster, the guys who are always turning up in the finals, then we need to make sure we’re performing week in week out in the Premiership and take that form into Europe.”

Foden is hoping to be selected for Stuart Lancaster’s England squad for the upcoming internationals against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia.

“For me, I have to put in some strong performances for Northampton to get myself re-selected first and foremost,” the 29-year-old admitted.

“It’s going to be one last opportunity to see how we fair against the southern hemisphere teams in our own back yard before the World Cup next year.

“For us as well to make Twickenham a bit of a fortress for those teams to come to and hopefully when they come in the later rounds of the World Cup next year there will be that element of doubt in their minds.

“It is awesome to play in any World Cup but few players will get the opportunity to play in a World Cup on home soil so the chance to be involved would be awesome.

“If I can get myself involved in that and be a part of a successful England team they would be memories that would live with me forever.”