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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 26th December
Aviva Premiership
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Bath vs Exeter
14:00Sale Sharks vs Leicester Tigers
15:00Newcastle Falcons vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 28th December
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester
15:00Northampton vs London Irish
15:00Exeter vs Newcastle
Sunday 15th February
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
14:30London Welsh vs Sale
15:00Saracens vs Bath
Friday 20th February
20:00Newcastle vs Wasps

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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