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Northampton v Sale - Teams
At Franklin's Gardens, Saturday March 14, KO: 3pm
We are going into this game on the back of two defeats and we need to get something from the game to keep up our top four challenge.
Quotes of the week
Sale Sharks have named Scotland international Rory Lamont at full-back for their Guinness Premiership trip to Northampton on Saturday.
Lamont had been expected to miss four months when he damaged ankle ligaments in early December but is returning ahead of schedule.
Winger Selrom Kuadey and scrum-half Chris Leck have also been given an opportunity to impress for the visitors at Franklin's Gardens.
"Northampton have a very good home record and like to attack, so we will need to be ready for them," Sale director of rugby Kingsley Jones said.
"We are going into this game on the back of two defeats and we need to get something from the game to keep up our top four challenge.
"This season is probably the most competitive ever in the Premiership and there is plenty of rugby to be played as eight teams are chasing the top four spots."
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder, meanwhile, is full of respect for Sale, the club he played and coached at for many years.
The Saints are currently fourth in the league table and appear well set for a play-off spot.
"Sale have been one of the Premiership's form teams for a number of years," Mallinder said.
"Their defence in particular has been outstanding throughout the season and we will need to control the ball and impose ourselves if we are to break it down.
"But Sale are also a threat with ball in hand and Charlie Hodgson in particular is having an outstanding campaign.
"But we are coming into the game with a lot of confidence. We played well last week and know that we can perform in tough situations.
"We created chances and took them and our defence remained solid under a great deal of pressure. We will need to repeat this tomorrow if we are to get a good result.
"It is nice to have players performing and giving the coaches some difficult selection decisions. We are without some international players, but the guys who are coming in have all worked hard in training and are eager to show what they can do.
"I played and coached at Sale for many years but there will not be any sentimentality tomorrow.
"My focus is solely on the Saints' successes, both hopefully tomorrow and in the future."
Northampton Saints: 15 B Foden, 14 P Diggin, 13 J Ansbro, 12 J Downey, 11 B Reihana (capt), 10 B Everitt, 9 L Dickson; 1 S Tonga'uiha, 2 B Sharman, 3 B Stewart, 4 I Fernandez Lobbe, 5 J Kruger, 6 C Lawes, 7 N Best, 8 R Wilson
Replacements: 16 J Gray, 17 T Smith, 18 A Rae, 19 M Hopley, 20 S Myler, 21 C Mayor, 22 S Lamont
Sale Sharks: 15 R Lamont, 14 S Kuadey, 13 R Keil, 12 C Bell, 11 D Doherty, 10 C Hodgson, 9 C Leck; 1 R O'Donnell, 2 N Briggs, 3 E Roberts, 4 D Schofield, 5 B Cockbain, 6 C Jones, 7 C Fearns, 8 JM Fernandez Lobbe
Replacements: 16 M Jones, 17 S Turner, 18 S Cox, 19 D Tait, 20 W Cliff, 21 L Thomas, 22 N Macleod
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|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle Falcons vs Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 26th April|
|14:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Saturday 9th May|
|14:00||Sale vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Wasps 32 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Exeter 16 - 6 Bath|
|Saracens 22 - 17 Newcastle Falcons|
|Leicester Tigers 28 - 8 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 12 - 50 London Irish|
|Friday 27th February|
|Northampton 17 - 13 Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com