Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints Preview

Northampton Saints have made two changes for the sold out Premiership final rematch against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Saturday.

Two changes have been made to the team which heads up the M1 to Leicester, with Tom Wood and Samu Manoa both returning to the pack.

Otherwise the Saints coaches have retained the starting line-up that beat Sale Sharks in Round 4 last Friday night.

It is also a big day for Stephen Myler and Lee Dickson, who will become Aviva Premiership’s record holders for the most starts as a half-back partnership.

Saturday’s game will be the 59th occasion the two will have started as a pair in the black, green and gold, one ahead of Martyn Wood and current Saints coach Alex King.

The two clubs that contested last season’s Aviva Premiership Rugby final once more lock horns at Welford Road.

The Tigers only loss in their last seven fixtures came at Bath in round 2, whilst they have been defeated only once at Welford Road in any competition in the last twelve months: 27-32 to Saracens in February.

Northampton Saints have lost just once so far this season: 24-26 at Gloucester in round 3. The Saints have won six of their last eight away games in the Premiership.

The Tigers have been victorious in their last eight fixtures with The Saints, their best run against their near neighbours and East Midlands rivals since the 1980s.

Northampton have not won at Welford Road since their 10-9 victory there in the Premiership in February 2007.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill has made just one change to the starting line-up following victory at Exeter Chiefs last week, with Graham Kitchener partnering Louis Deacon in the second row.

Thomas Waldrom and David Mele, who both missed the trip to Sandy Park on Sunday, are included among the replacements.

Match : Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints
Date : Saturday 5th October
Venue : Welford Road
Kick Off : 3.15pm
Live on: BT Sport 1
Match Officials
Referee:
J P Doyle (66th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix and Robin Goodliffe
TMO: David Grashoff.

Teams

Leicester Tigers

15 Niall Morris, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 1 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 Tom Youngs, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Louis Deacon, 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Ed Slater, 7 Julian Salvi, 8 Jordan Crane

Replacements : 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 David Mele, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Dan Bowden

Northampton Saints

15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Samu Manoa, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Corbisiero.

Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 GJ Van Velze, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22 James Wilson, 23 Ken Pisi.

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