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Preview: Northampton v Castres

10th January 2013 09:20

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Rory Kockott

Starting: Rory Kockott

South African scrum-half Rory Kockott has been handed a starting jersey for Castres in their Heineken Cup clash with Northampton Saints on Friday.

Kockott has been in the headlines recently after publicly stating his desire to leave the club in order to pursue Test rugby with France or SA.

The French outfit visit Franklin's Gardens on Friday sitting two points ahead of the Saints in Pool 4, meaning that a victory is essential for the home team to continue their European journey.

But the Saints are in contention thanks to an against-the-odds win over pool leaders Ulster in December, and boss Mallinder says that the atmosphere in the camp this week has been similar to the days before the trip to Ravenhill.

"We still have a massive point to prove in Europe, and the players know what is expected of them on Friday night," he told the Northampton website.

"We need a win to keep our destiny in our own hands, especially as Castres are two points ahead of us in the pool.

"We also know that it will not be easy against one of the top teams in France. Castres have been in superb form over the past few months and have been playing a style of rugby which makes the most of their big forwards and speed out wide.

"It is a massive challenge for us, and all of the focus has been on what we need to do on Friday. We are just about playing knockout rugby, so getting the win is all that matters.

"But we've been playing well recently, scoring good tries and defending well, so there is plenty for us to build on and we are in a positive frame of mind to get our home form back."

Northampton name James Wilson in place of Ken Pisi, who is ruled out due to an ankle injury. Stephen Myler continues at fly-half ahead of Ryan Lamb while England squad members Calum Clark and Tom Wood join now Saxon Phil Dowson in the back-row.

The teams:

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Phil Dowson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 GJ Van Velze, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

Castres: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Max Evans, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Jannie Bornman, 5 Iosefa Tekori, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Mathieu Bonello, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Saimone Taumoepeau, 18 Michaël Coetzee, 19 Matthias Rolland, 20 Paul Bonnefond, 21 Pedrie Wannenburg, 22 Pierre Bernard, 23 Thomas Sanchou.

Date: Friday, January 11
Kick-off: 20:00
Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Paul Haycock (Ireland), Michael Black (Ireland)
Television match official: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)
Timekeeper: Matthew Peters (England)
Citing commissioner: Douglas Hunter (Scotland)
Assessor: Fergus Neil (Scotland)

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Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins vs Castres19:45
Saturday , October 18
Sale vs Munster13:00
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Leicester vs Ulster19:45
Glasgow vs Bath15:15
Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton17:15
Sunday , October 19
Leinster vs Wasps17:15
Toulon vs Scarlets15:15
Toulouse vs Montpellier13:00
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso13:00
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
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Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster622
2Northampton617
3Castres69
4Ospreys65
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon624
2Cardiff Blues614
3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulouse623
2Saracens620
3Connacht613
4Zebre60
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Clermont Auvergne624
2Harlequins616
3Scarlets611
4Racing Metro Paris67
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ulster626
2Leicester Tigers621
3Montpellier611
4Treviso60
Pool 6
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster623
2Gloucester614
3Edinburgh612
4Perpignan67