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Northampton


  • Penalty goals: Lamb (2),
6 - 25

Ulster

  • Bowe, Trimble, Tuohy, Payne,
    Penalty goals: Jackson,
    Conversions: Jackson,

Northampton v Ulster: Heineken Cup match preview

Last updated: 7th December 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Ryan Lamb Northampton Saints 2012

Ryan Lamb: Northampton Saints look to bounce back from their 21-16 away defeat to Castres in their last Pool game

Johann Muller Ulster

Johann Muller: The Ulster captain is joined in the second row by Dan Tuohy

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Ulster are preparing to take their 12-game unbeaten run on the road as they face Northampton Saints in Friday's crucial Heineken Cup Pool 4 clash at Franklin's Gardens.

With the current RaboDirect PRO12 leaders having already secured impressive victories over Castres and Glasgow thus far in the Pool, they will be looking to extend their great run of form.

Meanwhile, the Saints will aiming to bounce back from their 21-16 away defeat to Castres in their last Pool game after their hard-fought victory over the Scots at home in their tournament opener.

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe has named a solid starting XV with a number of players who were rested for the trip to Scarlets on Sunday returning to the side.

Ruan Pienaar, Paddy Wallace and Jared Payne have been named at scrum-half, inside centre and full-back respectively.

Tommy Bowe, will line up on the right wing for his 50th Heineken Cup appearance, after having been on bench duty last weekend. This will see Andrew Trimble switch to the left at the expense of new Ireland cap Craig Gilroy.

Up front, Ireland internationals Rory Best and Tom Court replace Rob Herring and Callum Black in the front-row alongside John Afoa. Captain Johann Muller is joined in the second row by Dan Tuohy, his regular partner.

If he takes to the field at any time during Friday's game, Ricky Lutton could make his Heineken Cup debut. The 26-year-old development prop has made one previous appearance - last month as a substitute in the PRO12 win over Edinburgh.

Both sides are currently showing consistent domestic form, with Northampton sitting in third spot in the Premiership standings, whilst Ulster have a nine point cushion at the top of the PRO12.

However, Northampton fare worse against teams from Ireland than any other nation in this tournament, having lost 8 of 12 matches against Irish sides.

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.

Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Steve Myler, 23 Tom May.

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson , 7 Chris Henry, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (c), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.

Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Callum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Nick Wiliams, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Luke Marshall, 23 Craig Gilroy.

What they said...

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe:

"They have a strong pack and they build their game around that.

"They don't hide from that fact and they're confident in it. Their set piece is very strong and we've got to be excited about meeting that front on. We've got to conquer them up front if we're going to compete because you've got to have front foot ball. The tight five have to step up and show their qualities, but I'm confident in them, they've all played international rugby."

Northampton Director of rugby Jim Mallinder:

"Ulster have a strong winning habit this season and are coming to Franklin's Gardens in the best possible form.

"Their squad is full of talented players who time and again this season have shown a never-say-die attitude and the ability to get the scores when they need them.

"It is going to be a massive challenge for us, we know that. But training has been very positive this week and we are coming into the game on the back of three successive wins ourselves.

"However all of the players know that they will have to take a step up from those performances and play for the full 80 minutes if we are to get the result we want."

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Friday 5th December
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Montpellier vs Bath
Saturday 6th December
13:00Sale vs Saracens
17:30Munster vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Ulster vs Scarlets
13:00Benetton Treviso vs Northampton
15:15Ospreys vs Racing Metro 92
Sunday 7th December
13:00Castres vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leinster
17:30Leicester vs Toulon
15:15Toulouse vs Glasgow
Friday 12th December
19:45Bath vs Montpellier
Saturday 13th December
17:15Saracens vs Sale
19:45Leinster vs Harlequins
15:15Toulon vs Leicester
13:00Glasgow vs Toulouse
15:15Northampton vs Benetton Treviso
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Ospreys
Sunday 14th December
15:15Clermont Auvergne vs Munster
13:00Wasps vs Castres
17:15Scarlets vs Ulster
Saturday 17th January
TBCSaracens vs Munster
TBCSale vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCHarlequins vs Wasps
TBCLeinster vs Castres
TBCLeicester vs Scarlets

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