Northampton v London Irish Premiership Preview

Northampton Saints have won their last five matches at Franklin’s Gardens in all competitions. The Saints tripped up at Harlequins on Friday but have not lost back to back Aviva Premiership Rugby games since March.


London Irish have slipped to four straight defeats in the Premiership, whilst the Exiles have won just once on the road since 23 October 2010: 34-20 against Sale in Bolton on 16 April.


Northampton have won their last five encounters with London Irish in the Premiership, whilst Irish have not been triumphant at Franklin’s Gardens since a 21-20 victory on 13 November 2004.


Director of rugby Jim Mallinder said that the loss at the Stoop was in part down to the number of errors that were committed by the Saints team, and said that these had to be cut out if there is to be a positive result against the Exiles tomorrow afternoon.


“We were not good enough at the Stoop and made far too many mistakes against what is a very good Harlequins outfit,” he said.


“We will have to cut those out if we are to get a good result against a tough London Irish team tomorrow. Irish have played well in their two games so far and I believe that they are in a bit of a false position in the Premiership table. So we will have to play well throughout Saturday’s game.


“We’ve certainly been pleased with the reaction in training this week. Everyone has worked hard both in their analysis work and putting in plenty of graft on the pitches. Everyone was disappointed with last Friday’s result and is determined to put things right tomorrow.”


London Irish have made two changes one of which is Adam Thompstone starting on the wing after coming off the bench last weekend.


Ed Siggery will start his first competitive game for London Irish at blindside flanker. Bryn Evans has arrived from New Zealand and has been named as a replacement. London Irish Academy player, Anthony Watson, has also been named as a replacement after impressing during pre-season.


London Irish head coach Toby Booth said: “We have been competitive in the opening two games and there have been positives to come out of them; however, we want to be winning close encounters when they are there for the taking.


“The players have trained hard during the week and are looking forward to tomorrow’s Aviva Premiership match.”


The Bookies have given London Irish an 8 point start for this match.


Match : Northampton Saints v London Irish
Date : Saturday 17th September
Venue : Franklin’s Gardens
Kick Off : 3pm
Referee: Martin Fox (69th Premiership game)


Teams


Northampton Saints : 15 Jon Clarke, 14 Paul Diggin, 13 Tom May, 12 James Downey, 11 Noah Cato, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Ben Nutley, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Brett Sharman, 1 Alex Waller.


Replacements: 16 Andy Long, 17 Paul Doran Jones, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 James Craig, 21 Stuart Commins, 22 Stephen Myler


London Irish: 15. Tom Homer; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 12. Steve Shingler; 11. Adam Thompstone; 10. Dan Bowden; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Clarke Dermody (Captain); 2. David Paice; 3. Leo Halavatau; 4. Nick Kennedy; 5. Matt Garvey; 6. Ed Siggery; 7. Alex Gray; 8. Chris Hala’ufia


Replacements : 16. James Buckland; 17. Max Lahiff; 18.Mark George; 19. Bryn Evans; 20. Dave Sisi; 21. Guy Armitage; 22. Anthony Watson; 23. Paul Hodgson

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