Mallinder under no illusions about Falcons

Northampton Saints Director of rugby Jim Mallinder is under no illusions as to the challenge ahead of the Northampton Saints team when they travel to Kingston Park tomorrow evening to play Newcastle.

The Falcons have won their last three Guinness Premiership matches, including away games at London Irish and Bath. Furthermore tomorrow’s hosts were the only team to do a Guinness Premiership double over the Saints last season.

So Mallinder says that he and the Northampton Saints players will be treating the north-east outfit with plenty of respect.

“Kingston Park is a difficult place to go and win,” he said.

Newcastle have a robust, competitive pack and a sensible approach to their rugby. Their half-backs are disciplined, the two centres are tough and attack-minded, and their back three like to play.

“As the season has gone on they have become better and better and won crucial games at the Rec and the Madejski Stadium.

“However we were happy with many aspects of our play against Harlequins last week and have trained well in the last few days. “

“We scored some good tries, and we will have to take our opportunities when we get them. We are also going to have to improve our defence as well. We were sloppy last week and know we can do a lot better.”

Northampton Saints

15 Ben Foden 14 Chris Ashton 13 Jon Clarke 12 James Downey 11 Bruce Reihana 10 Shane Geraghty 9 Lee Dickson 1 Soane Tonga’uiha 2 Dylan Hartley (capt) 3 Santiago Bonorino 4 Courtney Lawes 5 Juandre Kruger 6 Phil Dowson 7 Neil Best 8 Roger Wilson

Replacements 16 Brett Sharman 17 Regardt Dreyer 18 Euan Murray 19 Christian Day 20 Scott Gray 21 Alan Dickens 22 Stephen Myler 23 Joe Ansbro

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