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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),

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 3rd October
Aviva Premiership
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Friday 14th November
19:45Gloucester vs Harlequins
19:45Northampton vs Exeter
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
17:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
13:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:15Wasps vs London Welsh
Friday 21st November
19:45Harlequins vs Sale
20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester
Saturday 22nd November
15:00London Irish vs Bath
15:00Exeter vs Wasps
Sunday 23rd November
13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester
Friday 28th November
19:45Bath vs Harlequins

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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