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Northampton

  • Tonga'uiha, Manoa, van Velze, Elliott (3),
    Conversions: Myler (4), Lamb,
40 - 14

London Irish

  • Armitage,
    Penalty goals: Homer (3),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 2nd Mar 2013
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Franklin's Gardens
  • Att: 12,465

Northampton v London Irish - Aviva Premiership match preview

Last updated: 2nd March 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Jon Fisher London Irish

Jon Fisher: Will start at No 8 in only change for London Irish

Courtney Lawes Northampton Heineken Cup

Courtney Lawes: Has been released by England to play for Saints

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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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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 27th February
Aviva Premiership
19:45Northampton vs Harlequins
Saturday 28th February
14:30London Welsh vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons
15:00Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks
15:15Exeter vs Bath
Sunday 1st March
13:00Wasps vs Gloucester
Friday 6th March
19:45Bath vs Sale
Saturday 7th March
15:00Exeter vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs London Irish
15:15Gloucester vs Northampton
Sunday 8th March
14:00Wasps vs Saracens
15:00Newcastle vs Leicester
Friday 27th March
19:45Northampton vs Wasps
Saturday 28th March
15:00London Irish vs Newcastle
15:00Leicester vs Exeter
15:15Saracens vs Harlequins
Sunday 29th March
14:00Sale vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Bath
Friday 10th April
19:45Newcastle vs Bath
Saturday 11th April
15:00Harlequins vs Gloucester
15:15Saracens vs Leicester
Sunday 12th April
14:00Exeter vs Northampton
14:30London Welsh vs Wasps
15:00London Irish vs Sale
Saturday 25th April
14:00Sale vs Harlequins

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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