Former French international Benjamin Kayser has criticised Northampton Saints boss Chris Boyd after he suggested he would field a weakened team against Leinster in their Round 2 Heineken Champions Cup fixture next week.

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Boyd’s Saints side lost 16 – 12 in a narrow defeat to Bordeaux Begles at Franklin’s Gardens thanks to a late Santiago Cordero try, which means the Green and Blacks face an uphill battle to make it out of their pool in what is an unforgiving new tournament structure.

It was Saints’ 16th loss in their last 18 matches and their 11th on the trot. Boyd’s reaction after the match suggested that the New Zealander isn’t too keen on expending senior player resources against the might of Leinster.

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“With the new format of this competition, you have to win at least three of your four games to qualify so it is now extremely difficult,” said Boyd. “We are not refocusing on the Premiership just yet but we will be resting some of our players next weekend and giving some of the youngsters a go.”

Boyd also said that his side were finding ‘new ways to lose’.

To field a weakened team against tournament favorites Leinster is, to all intents and purposes, to admit defeat before a whistle is blown.

Appearing on BT Sport as a pundit, former France, Leicester Tigers and Clermont hooker Benjamin Kayser took exception to his comments.

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“For one, it’s pretty sad to see that after round one he’s basically decided to give up on it,” Kayser said. “I think that is a pretty poor statement.”

Northampton Saints could find themselves in trouble with EPCR if they do field a weakened team and Leinster put up a cricket score. In 2004, Bourgoin were fined by the then ERC after they fielded a weakened team against Leinster that received a 92 – 17 hammering.

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