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Wood lifts the lid on Northampton struggles

Tom Wood says Northampton Saints have been on a downward trajectory for years, ever since they lifted the Premiership title in 2014.

The Franklin's Gardens outfit are in the midst of another disastrous season and find themselves down in 10th after Saturday's humbling 63-13 home defeat at the hands of Saracens.

Northampton will not feature in this year's play-off for a third year running, results having failed to improve since the decision to sack long-serving director of rugby Jim Mallinder was taken in December.

New Zealander Chris Boyd will takeover as director of rugby in August but he would appear to have a big job on his hands with England flanker Wood admitting the culture of the club has taken a turn for the worse since they were last crowned champions three years ago.

In a brutal assessment of the Northampton squad, Wood told BBC Radio Northampton: "I actually believe winning the league was probably the worst thing to have happened to us as far as our development and evolution as a team was concerned.

"We stood still, failed to keep pushing the boundaries and looking for new ways to improve as a team and things have slowly slid since then.

"That togetherness, team spirit, buy-in, understanding of one another, synergy and belief in the regime and everything about it is what makes great teams - and we don't have that at the minute."

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