Mallinder wants improvements from Saints against Bath

A packed Franklin’s Gardens will greet Northampton Saints tomorrow afternoon for their Guinness Premiership Round 7 match against Bath.


But director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that improvement is needed from his team against the league leaders.

Bath arrive at the Gardens unbeaten on their domestic travels this season and Mallinder is well aware that the West Country side will pose a massive threat to the Saints’ good home record.

“Bath have played some excellent rugby this season and are rightly top of the table,” he said.

“Steve Meehan has developed an athletic and dynamic team that is comfortable keeping the ball alive and always looks to create opportunities. His players are also well conditioned, which was shown when they scored in the last minute against Leicester last weekend. It is understandable if they are approaching tomorrow’s game in confident mood.

“But our squad are looking forward to the game as well. They have been working extremely hard during training this week. The mood has been upbeat and everyone is determined to put last Sunday’s disappointment behind them.”

The Northampton public have reacted by making this the first Franklin’s Gardens sell-out of the campaign so far and Mallinder says that this support is very much appreciated by the players.

“All season the support at Franklin’s Gardens has been excellent,” he said.

“The passionate and intense atmosphere in the stadium created by the fans has been a major factor in our good home record and everyone is delighted that the ground has sold out for such an important game.”

Saints team to play Bath

15 Stephen Myler
14 Chris Ashton
13 Chris Mayor
12 James Downey
11 Bruce Reihana (capt)
10 Carlos Spencer
9 Ben Foden
1 Tom Smith
2 Joe Gray
3 Barry Stewart
4 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe
5 Juandre Kruger
6 Mark Hopley
7 Mark Easter
8 Roger Wilson

16 Paul Shields
17 Soane Tonga’uiha
18 Christian Day
19 Ben Lewitt
20 Lee Dickson
21 Nils Mordt
22 Paul Diggin

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