Northampton Saints v Harlequins Premiership Preview

Northampton Saints host Harlequins at Franklins Gardens

Northampton Saints have named a team with five changes to their side for Sunday’s Aviva Premiership match at Franklins Gardens against Harlequins.

There are five changes to the starting line-up for the Aviva Premiership Round 18 clash with Quins, who like the Saints are well in the hunt for a place in the play-off positions.

Luther Burrell, George North and Stephen Myler come into the back line, with Kieran Brookes and Tom Wood returning to the pack.

There is also a possible senior debut for Campese Ma’afu, who has been included in a match day 23 for the first time since arriving at Franklin’s Gardens earlier in the year.

Northampton Saints’ three game winning run in Aviva Premriship Rugby ended at Exeter on Sunday.

The Saints only defeat in any competition at Franklin’s Gardens since early November was 11-24 to Wasps on 29th January.

Harlequins have won just two of their last nine fixtures in all competitions – both at Twickenham Stoop in Aviva Premiership Rugby, against Leicester and Bath.

Harlequins have lost their last four away games in the tournament since beating Worcester 24-20 at Sixways in round 8.

The Saints have won their last six fixtures against Harlequins in all tournaments since the Londoners’ 22-19 victory at the Stoop in Premiership Rugby in May 2013

Quins have not won at Franklin’s Gardens since an 18-9 victory on 22nd December 2012.

Harlequins have made ten changes to their team with Captain Danny Care makes his 200th senior appearance, with Matt Hopper looking to make his 100th appearance for the Club off the bench.

Care is joined in the starting line up by fellow Grand Slam winning internationals Joe Marler, Jack Clifford and Mike Brown, with Chris Robshaw named among the replacements.

Joe Gray and Will Collier are named in the front row, with Tim Visser and Jamie Roberts returning from international duty to start in the backline alongside Joe Marchant.

Match : Northampton Saints v Harlequins
Date : Sunday 27 March
Venue : Franklin’s Gardens,
Kick Off : 3.15pm
Live on: BT Sport
Match Officials
Referee :Tim Wigglesworth (105th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Wayne Falla & Paul Burton.
TMO: Graham Hughes.

Teams

Northampton

15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson (c), 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Christian Day, 4 James Craig, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller

Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Campese Ma’afu, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Sam Dickinson, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22 JJ Harrahan, 23 Harry Mallinder

Harlequins

15. Mike Brown , 14. Charlie Walker , 13. Joe Marchant , 12. Jamie Roberts , 11. Tim Visser , 10. Ben Botica , 9. Danny Care (C) , 1. Joe Marler , 2. Joe Gray , 3. Will Collier , 4. George Merrick , 5. James Horwill , 6. Jack Clifford , 7. Luke Wallace , 8. Nick Easter

Replacements 16. Dave Ward , 17. Mark Lambert , 18. Kyle Sinckler , 19. Mat Luamanu , 20. Chris Robshaw , 21. Karl Dickson , 22. Matt Hopper , 23. Ross Chisholm

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