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Northampton v L Irish: Teams
At Franklin's Gardens, Saturday September 17, kick-off 3pm
Northampton boss Jim Mallinder has rejigged his side ahead of the Aviva Premiership clash with London Irish at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.
Although the Saints beat Gloucester in their first match of the season, the trip to Harlequins a week later ended in a 26-13 defeat.
Mallinder has responded by shuffling his back division, with Jon Clarke moving from centre to full-back to replace Greg Tonks and Paul Diggin returning on the wing.
Tom May moves off the wing to take Clarke's place in the midfield, while Ryan Lamb replaces Stephen Myler at fly-half.
Brett Sharman and Tom Mercey come into the front row for Andy Long and Brian Mujati respectively, while the rest of the pack remains unchanged.
Mallinder says that the Saints need to reduce their error count if they are to bounce back with victory over the Exiles.
"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."
London Irish coach Toby Booth has made two changes to the starting XV that were edged out 30-29 by Sale last Friday.
Adam Thompstone will start on the wing after coming off the bench against the Sharks, while Ed Siggery is handed a full competitive debut at blindside flanker.
New signing Bryn Evans has been named as a replacement after arriving from New Zealand and academy prospect Anthony Watson is also included on the bench.
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."
Northampton: 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, 8. Chris Hala'ufia, 7 Alex Gray, 6 Ed Siggery, 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody (c).
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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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com