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Northampton Saints v Wasps - Aviva Premiership match preview
Northampton show two changes from the side that defeated Worcester five days ago for the Aviva Premiership clash with Wasps on Friday.
Centre Dom Waldouck replaces George Pisi alongside Luther Burrell in midfield and England flanker Tom Wood features at openside instead of Phil Dowson, who is on bench duty.
Saints are one of only two unbeaten teams in the Aviva Premiership but their director of rugby Jim Mallinder expects a tough test from Wasps.
"They have been very competitive in every game and shown their willingness to play as a team for the full 80 minutes. They soundly beat London Irish two weeks ago and put over 40 points past Harlequins in Round 1 as well," he said.
Prop Tim Payne will make his 250th appearance for Wasps as the Londoners look to bounce back from last weekend's defeat at Gloucester.
Winger James Bailey makes a first-team debut, replacing Tom Varndell, while there are also starts for fly-half Nicky Robinson, flanker Joe Launchbury and No 8 Billy Vunipola.
Stephen Jones has not recovered from stomach illness and his place on the bench has been taken by Lee Thomas.
Northampton: Wilson, K Pisi, Waldouck, Burrell, Artemyev, Myler, Dickson; Tonga'uiha, Hartley (capt), Doran Jones, Manoa, Day, Lawes, Wood, Oakley. Replacements: Haywood, Mujati, Waller, Sorenson, Dowson, Roberts, Lamb, May.
Wasps: T Bell, Wade, Masi, C Bell, Bailey, Robinson, Simpson; Payne, Lindsay, Taufalo, Palmer, Wentzel (capt), Launchbury, Haskell, Vunipola. Replacements: Rhys Thomas, McIntyre, Staibano, Sam Jones, Cannon, Davies, Lee Thomas, Daly.
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|Friday 2nd January|
|19:45||Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|16:30||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:00||Leicester Tigers vs Bath|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|15:00||Bath vs Wasps|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Exeter|
|Saturday 14th February|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Sunday 15th February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|15:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|Friday 20th February|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|15:00||Bath vs Northampton|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com