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Mallinder wary of pool rivals

10th June 2014 15:31

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RUGBY RUGBY UNION RUGBY UNION TOURNAMENT AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP JIM MALLINDER

Looking ahead: Jim Mallinder

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder has stressed that no one should underestimate the Saints' European Champions Cup pool.

Mallinder's outfit have been paired with Racing, the Ospreys and Treviso, with some of the other pools having earned the 'Group of Death' tag.

However, the Saints boss insists that Racing and the Ospreys have squads containing plenty while Treviso are a strong Italian team and will threaten.

"We haven't played Racing Metro before, and going to Paris will be an exciting challenge," Mallinder commented after Tuesday's draw.

"Racing is an ambitious club and showed in their recent play-offs win away at Toulouse just how dangerous they can be. They have a squad packed with quality players and are strengthening even further over the summer.

"While Racing is a new opponent for us we know what to expect from the Ospreys. We had to work extremely hard for our results against them last season and it will be no different in 2014/15. Dan Biggar is a top goal kicker and Alun Wyn Jones is an outstanding captain and any side that has that number of internationals deserves to be respected.

"We haven't played Treviso for a few years, and it will be good to go back to Italy. But while that will be a good trip for the supporters we will have to make sure we keep our focus on the job in hand, which is to get a win over a team that beat Munster and ran Leinster and Ulster close on home turf in the PRO12 last season.

"We know that as Aviva Premiership champions other teams are going to raise their game against us, which means we are going to have to raise our own standards as well."

The fixtures themselves will be confirmed in mid-July.

  • Northampton Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Northampton vs Exeter19:45
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs Northampton13:00
Sunday , November 30
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Saturday , December 20
Northampton vs Leicester15:00
Saturday , December 27
Harlequins vs Northampton15:00
Saturday , January 3
Northampton vs Newcastle15:00
Saturday , January 10
Sale vs Northampton14:00
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European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Saturday , December 6
Benetton Treviso vs Northampton13:00
Saturday , December 13
Northampton vs Benetton TrevisoTBC
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European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 18
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
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Saturday , October 11
Northampton 43 - 10 Sale SharksNorthampton vs Sale Sharks Report
Saturday , October 4
London Irish 12 - 19 Northampton
Saturday , September 27
Northampton 31 - 24 Bath
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 Northampton
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 Northampton
Friday , September 5
Northampton 53 - 6 Gloucester
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615