Van der Flier expects Northampton backlash

Date published: December 15 2016

Leinster flanker Josh van der Flier said his team are keen to prove themselves as Champions Cup title contenders again.

The Irish province won the last of their three titles in 2012 and issued a warning to the other sides in the competition when they registered an impressive 37-10 victory over Northampton Saints last weekend.

The sides meet again at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and the 24-year-old Ireland international expects a backlash from the Saints.

“They’re going come at us really hard, and having seen us play obviously, the way we attack, the way our game-plan was set up, that kind of thing, they’ll be really ready for us this time,” Van der Flier told the Six Nations website.

“We lost to Toulon last year and we’re desperate to put it right then in the Aviva, and that’s the way Northampton will be thinking.

“It’s small margins in these games. We were good in our set-piece and if we didn’t have that it would be a very different game.

“It could be just a small tweak, then they’ll be a handful – which they were on Saturday – it’s hard to know what they’ll do, but they’ll be tough to play.

“They’ll be pretty fired up coming into the Aviva this week. We’ve got to build on our performance this week.”

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