Northampton Saints expect teams to dismiss LV= Cup

Northampton Saints
Saints suffered defeat in last season's Lv=Cup final

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder has said there will be Premiership teams who will not use the LV= Cup to their advantage this season.

Saints used the competition to introduce youngsters last term, and reached a third final in five years.

"I think there are a few teams that see it the same as us," Mallinder told BBC Radio Northampton.

"But I think there are some other clubs who don't worry about it too much - Premiership is their bread and butter."

He added: "They probably just chuck in some youngsters to make up the numbers. We've never seen it like that. It's a big week for us."

Saints' LV= Cup finals
2010: Beat Gloucester 30-24
2012: Lost to Leicester 26-14
2014: Lost to Exeter 15-8

"As coaches we know we have to step up because we have young players coming in and we can't presume they are at a level that our international players are."

Youngsters Tom Collins, Tom Stephenson, Will Hooley and Ben Nutley were among those to gain experience from last season's run in the LV= Cup.

Saints were beaten by Exeter in the 2014 final, at the south west side's home ground, and get this campaign underway against Newcastle on Saturday.

This season's final will be held at Northampton's Franklin's Gardens.

"It's a tournament we love playing in. We see it as a really good tournament for us," said Mallinder.

"We know the benefits of playing at home in a final. We saw how tough it was to play at Exeter."

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