Northampton Saints utility back James Wilson confident ahead of Heineken Cup clash
James Wilson insists Northampton head to Glasgow confident of gate-crashing the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter: @SkysportsTC
Last Updated: 16/01/13 1:46pm
The 29-year-old utility back holds cult status back in his home town of Invercargill after his late winning drop-goal earned Southland a famous Ranfurly Shield victory over Canterbury in 2011.
And Saints will need all Wilson's experience when they take on the Warriors in their final Heineken Cup pool game on Saturday needing a bonus point win if they are to stand a chance of claiming a place in the last eight.
Northampton are chasing one of the two best runners-up qualification places - but with other teams in stronger positions, they will need to score at least four tries and then hope other results go their way.
And although Saints have scored just six times in their five games in Europe this season, four of those came in the 24-15 win over Glasgow and Wilson believes the side can do it again.
"We are definitely going for the win and the bonus point," he told Sky Sports.
"We know that is what we need to help us hopefully qualify and we have confidence in ourselves. Glasgow are a good side, though, and we know that it won't be easy.
"We have been getting the opportunities but it is about finishing those off. As long as we creating opportunities then we will have a chance.
"I'd obviously like to be on the end of those opportunities but we have some great attacking players at the club."
Northampton kept their hopes alive with an 18-12 win over Castres last time out - a match that saw Wilson make his return after three months out.
Wilson, who joined Saints in the summer from Bourgoin, had been sidelined since injuring his calf against Glasgow - however he made an immediate return to the starting XV on the wing.
"It was good to get 80 minutes and I am pleased that things went well," he said. "I was surprised to be put straight back in. I had been out 12 weeks and I had been frustrated at having to watch as I just wanted to play.
"I'd been training a lot, so although I wasn't match fit I was ready and I thought it went well. I was able to get around the pitch and support and it felt good."
Wilson's performance didn't go unnoticed with Saints boss Jim Mallinder describing the New Zealander as a 'quality footballer'.
"It is good that Jim has confidence in me," Wilson added. "I feel I can add to the team and I always look to do that whenever I play, so it is nice to hear that praise."