Saints focused on Heineken Cup clean-sweep

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that all of the attention this week at Franklin’s Gardens has been given to achieving a positive result in Castres this weekend.

The Saints qualified for the Heineken Cup quarter finals with their Round 5 win over Edinburgh. But with a home tie far from certain Mallinder says that he wants the Saints team to keep their future in their own hands by winning in Castres – something that no other team has managed so far in either the Heineken Cup or Top 14 in 2010/11.

“It is a massive challenge for us this weekend,” Mallinder said. “Castres are a quality team with a proud record at home and they have beaten some big teams there this season.

“We know from the home tie that it doesn’t matter what team they put out, they will be competitive and very physical, especially up front, and we will have to be prepared to be asked questions all over the field.

“But we also know that our future is in our own hands and that if we win we will have a home quarter final, which will be very important as the Heineken Cup continues later in the year.

“This is a massive motivation. We don’t want to be having to rely on other teams in other games, and all of our attention this week has been put towards getting a positive result in Castres.”

Northampton Saints

15 Ben Foden , 14 Joe Ansbro , 13 Jon Clarke , 12 James Downey , 11 Paul Diggin , 10 Stephen Myler , 9 Ryan Powell , 1 Soane Tonga’uiha , 2 Dylan Hartley (capt) , 3 Brian Mujati , 4 Calum Clark , 5 Mark Sorenson , 6 Phil Dowson , 7 Tom Wood , 8 Roger Wilson

Replacements , 16 Brett Sharman , 17 Alex Waller , 18 Tom Mercey , 19 Christian Day , 20 Mark Easter , 21 Stuart Commins , 22 Shane Geraghty , 23 Bruce Reihana

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