SOUTHEND Saxons return to action with a table-topping clash at Eton Manor tomorrow.

Regional Two Anglia leaders Southend currently sit one place and one point clear of second placed Manor.

And Saxons’ director of rugby Josh Ward is keen to start a crucial period for his side in fine fashion.

“It’s a big month for the group,” said Ward.

“We’ve got three difficult games starting with Saturday and we’ve formed a competitive and healthy rivalry with Eton Manor over recent years.

“The two fixtures we probably looked for first were against Manor and they’re a very difficult team to beat, especially at home so we’re going to have to be bang on it.”

Southend will head into the game having not played for two weeks.

But Ward believes a break will have done Saxons good.

“We want to play like everyone else but at times players have to listen to their bodies,” said Ward.

“We’ve had players with sore bodies so in that regard it’s been positive having time away from the pitch.

“But we’re excited for what the month holds now.

“If you want to be the best you have to beat the best and I certainly consider Manor to be one of them.”

However, Ward was keen to stress it was not do or die for Southend at this stage.

“Win, lose or draw on Saturday it’s just another game,” said Ward.

“It’s not a case of whoever wins goes up it’s about moving along the season in blocks, as we call them.

“We’ve got to play them again later in the season and everyone else as well so it’s an important game but it won’t define our season.”