Planet Rugby

Preview: Northampton v Leicester

29th March 2013 11:26

Share:

Leicester Northampton Anthony Allen

East Midlands derby: Saints v Tigers

Leicester Tigers have named an unchanged team for Saturday's Premiership derby with Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens.

The sold-out signs have been hung outside Franklin's Gardens for weeks ahead of the top-four East Midlands derby.

Richard Cockerill retains the 23-man squad that recorded a valuable victory away to Exeter Chiefs in Round 18 last Saturday, with Toby Flood as captain.

"Fixtures between Leicester and Northampton are always very competitive and we're both chasing semi-final spots," said Tigers director of rugby Cockerill.

"We had a very good win at Exeter last week, the international boys came back in and got straight into it, and we'll be up for the battle.

"We have a lot of respect for Saints and their supporters, we obviously know each other very well and a healthy rivalry is good for both us.

"Both sides want to play and score tries, and we'll both be going into it in a positive frame of mind."

Meanwhile, Saints have made just two changes to their starting XV.

Tom May takes over at inside centre from Dom Waldouck while Tom Wood starts at number eight with GJ van Velze dropping to the bench.

Luther Burrell is added to the replacements.

Christian Day says that Northampton have to be ready for a massive test.

"Any time you play a team in the top six you know you're playing international standard players in practically every position and Leicester are no different to that," the Saints lock commented.

"We've got a close rivalry and playing Leicester is a massive test, no matter where you're from. They've been at the pinnacle of European rugby for a long time and we know they're coming here to test us once again.

"We need to up our game and look to get the win we want."

Form: The Saints have won four games on the spin in the Aviva Premiership and moved into the top-four play-off places last weekend courtesy of their last-gasp win against Wasps at Adams Park. Leicester are the Aviva Premiership's best away side having secured 27 league points on their travels this season. Saints and Tigers both jointly lead the Aviva Premiership, along with Wasps, in scoring 40 tries a piece during this season's campaign. Leicester have won their last six encounters with Northampton in all competitions since the Saints' 27-19 win at Franklin's Gardens in the opening round of the 2010/11 Aviva Premiership season.

The teams:

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom May, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Samu Manoa, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements:16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 GJ van Velze, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Luther Burrell.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements:16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Thomas Waldrom, 20 Graham Kitchener, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.

Date: Saturday, 30 March
Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Kick-off: 15:00
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Robin Goodliffe & Roy Maybank
TMO: David Grashoff

  • Aviva Prem Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , May 3
Saracens vs Worcester15:00
Bath vs Northampton15:00
Wasps vs Newcastle15:00
Exeter vs Harlequins15:00
Sale vs Leicester15:00
Gloucester vs London Irish15:00
Saturday , May 10
London Irish vs Sale15:15
Newcastle vs Exeter15:15
Leicester vs Saracens15:15
Northampton vs Wasps15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
  • Aviva Prem Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Aviva Prem Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058