Mallinder not taking pre-season Clermont clash lightly

Northampton Saints play their first pre-season friendly this Saturday evening against Clermont Auvergne in Vichy and director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that the game will be the kind of test the players need in the build up to the return to the Guinness Premiership.

Clermont Auvergne played some sensational rugby on their way to the 2007/08 Top 14 final and finished top of the regular season table.


Their squad includes international players such as Alex King, Aurelien Rougerie and Pierre Mignoni, who has been names as club captain for the coming season.

With the 2008/09 Top 14 beginning on August 26th and the Guinness Premiership a fortnight later the match in Vichy is very important preparation for both Clermont and the Saints.

“The Top 14 final was played at test match intensity and Clermont played a full part from start to finish,” said Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

“For the last few years they have been right at the top of French rugby and regulars in the knock out stages of the Heineken Cup.

“We have a squad that features several new players and I am looking forward to seeing them in action for the Saints against top class opposition.”

Saturday’s match kicks off at 6pm CET.

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