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Northampton v London Irish - Aviva Premiership match preview
Northampton welcome back England duo Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes for their Aviva Premiership clash with London Irish at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.
Hartley and Lawes both started in England's RBS Six Nations victory over France last weekend but have been released back to the Saints to take part in club action.
Full-back Ben Foden and scrum-half Lee Dickson retain their places following the 25-23 victory over Bath after they were also given the green light from England.
That allows director of rugby Jim Mallinder to name an unchanged back-line as Northampton attempt to boost their hopes of a top-four place.
Hartley and Lawes come into the pack at hooker and lock respectively, while Samu Manoa shifts into the back row as Ben Nutley drops to the bench.
London Irish make just one change for the contest, with Jon Fisher coming in at No 8 to replace Chris Hala'ufia, who has been banned for two weeks.
The Exiles will be hoping to gain some much-needed momentum after securing a 30-19 victory over Wasps last time out.
Northampton: 15 B Foden, 14 J Wilson, 13 G Pisi, 12 T May, 11 J Elliott, 10 S Myler, 9 L Dickson, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 P Dowson, 6 S Manoa, 5 M Sorenson, 4 C Lawes, 3 T Mercey, 2 D Hartley (c), 1 S Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 R McMillan, 17 A Waller, 18 B Mujati, 19 M Sorenson, 20 B Nutley, 21 M Roberts, 22 R Lamb, 23 D Waldouck.
London Irish: 15 T Homer, 14 T Ojo, 13 G Armitage, 12 S Geraghty, 11 M Yarde, 10 I Humphreys, 9 P Phibbs, 8 J Fisher, 7 O Treviranus, 6 M Garvey, 5 B Evans (c), 4 G Skivington, 3 H Aulika, 2 S Lawson, 1 M Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 D Paice, 17 J Yanuyanutawa, 18 L Halavatau, 19 K Low, 20 J Sinclair, 21 S Tagicakibau, 22 S Sa, 23 J Moates.
What they said...
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith
"Northampton have got a few wins under their belt in recent weeks and are playing some good rugby.
"It is always a physical challenge against Northampton and I envisage tomorrow being no exception. The squad is looking forward to the challenge."
Northampton prop Alex Waller
"We've got a bit of momentum at the moment and hopefully we can get a win to keep that going. Back in September we weren't right mentally when we went to Reading and they punished us," he told SaintsTV.
"We know that we can't have a single minute off in the Aviva Premiership; every team's a good team and has the capability to beat you."
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|Friday 28th November|
|19:45||Bath vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 29th November|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Wasps|
|16:30||Exeter vs Saracens|
|Sunday 30th November|
|13:00||London Irish vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Northampton|
|15:15||Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 20th December|
|14:00||Sale vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Bath|
|15:00||Saracens vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Northampton vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st December|
|14:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|Friday 26th December|
|15:00||London Irish vs London Welsh|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:00||Sale vs Leicester|
|15:00||Bath vs Exeter|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Saracens|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Wasps|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Northampton|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|15:00||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|15:00||Leicester vs Bath|
|15:00||Northampton vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 24 - 31 Northampton|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|London Irish 23 - 33 Bath|
|Exeter 31 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 21st November|
|Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 16th November|
|Wasps 71 - 7 London Welsh|
|Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 Saracens|
|Saturday 15th November|
|Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London Irish|
|Friday 14th November|
|Gloucester 15 - 22 Harlequins|
|Northampton 18 - 24 Exeter|
|Sunday 12th October|
|Wasps 29 - 22 Bath|
|Saturday 11th October|
|Northampton 43 - 10 Sale Sharks|
|Saracens 28 - 21 Gloucester|
|Exeter 44 - 24 London Irish|
|London Welsh 3 - 23 Newcastle|
|Friday 10th October|
|Leicester 22 - 16 Harlequins|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com