Anglo Welsh LV= Cup final Preview

Northampton Saints have been “putting all their emphasis” on Sunday’s Anglo Welsh LV= Cup final against Gloucester Rugby, according to Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

The Saints go into Sunday’s game against Gloucester knowing that there is the season’s first silverware up for grabs, as well as a Heineken Cup spot for 2010/11. So the Saints boss says that the players have been concentrating fully all week.

“We’ve won all our games so far in the Anglo Welsh LV= Cup and we want to go one step further in Sunday,” Mallinder said.

“We want to do our best and win every game, regardless of the competition and we don’t pick and choose. We’ve entered this competition and we want to lift the silverware.

“We’ve got to a final and have been putting all our emphasis and focus on a Gloucester team that will be very dangerous. They are playing a good style of rugby and have plenty of players who have come back into form over the past few weeks.”

“They also performed well against Cardiff last week in the semi-final and I’m expecting a tough game in Worcester.”

Gloucester Rugby stalwart Peter Buxton will skipper Gloucester in this match. Buxton, who joined Gloucester from Newport in 2002, has gone on to pass the 200 appearances mark for the club and recently signed a new two year contract with the club.

He captains the side with this season’s joint club captains, Gareth Delve and Mike Tindall, away with Wales and England respectively on Six Nations duty.

He leads a side which shows four changes to the starting line up from the Cardiff semi final last weekend.

Tim Molenaar, who has enjoyed such an impressive first season with Gloucester, resumes his partnership in the centre in Tindall’s absence with Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu.

Meanwhile, on a weekend where so many Gloucester players are on international duty, Rory Lawson is a welcome returnee from the Scotland camp.

In the pack, Pierre Capdevielle comes in for Paul Doran-Jones who picked up a knee injury in Cardiff and Adam Eustace replaces Jake Boer who also left the Welsh capital with an injury.

Talking to the local media this week, Head Coach Bryan Redpath acknowledged that Northampton are a very good side and that Gloucester will be missing several players but that he’s content with the resources at his disposal.

“It’s massive for the club. We set ourselves some targets to achieve and the first of those comes up with this final on Sunday.”

“Your next game is your biggest challenge and last week is gone and we’ve learned from that. You move on and this is a big game for us.”

“Northampton are a quality side. They’ve been very consistent throughout the season. We’ve looked at some of the stuff they’ve achieved this season and admired it. It’s been outstanding.”

“It’s going to be a tough challenge, we have a fairly hefty injury and absentee list. But that’s life. The boys that are here are still good enough to go out and compete at this level. I’m happy with the boys that are around.”

“I’m looking forward to it massively.”

Match : Northampton Saints vs Gloucester Rugby
Event : Anglo Welsh LV= Cup final
Venue : Sixways
Date :Sunday, March 21st, 2010
Kick off : 3:30pm


Northampton Saints

15 Shane Geraghty , 14 Bruce Reihana , 13 Jon Clarke , 12 James Downey , 11 Paul Diggin , 10 Stephen Myler , 9 Lee Dickson , 1 Soane Tonga’uiha , 2 Brett Sharman, 3 Brian Mujati , 4 Courtney

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