Planet Rugby

Preview: Leicester v Northampton

04th October 2013 12:17


tom wood northampton leicester

Starter: Tom Wood

Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints will run out in front of a capacity 24,000 crowd in the opening East Midlands derby of the season.

All tickets have been sold for the 229th East Midlands derby - and the 113th at the home of the Tigers - ahead of the eagerly-anticipated encounter.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill makes just one change to the starting line-up following victory at Exeter Chiefs last week, with Graham Kitchener partnering Louis Deacon in the second row.

Thomas Waldrom and David Mele, who both missed the trip to Sandy Park on Sunday, are included among the replacements.

Meanwhile, Northampton Saints have made two changes to the team which heads up the M1 to Leicester, with Tom Wood and Samu Manoa both returning to the pack.

Otherwise the Saints coaches have retained the starting line-up that beat Sale Sharks in Round Four last Friday.

It is also a big day for Stephen Myler and Lee Dickson, who will become Aviva Premiership's record holders for the most starts as a half-back partnership.

Saturday's game will be the 59th occasion the two will have started as a pair in the black, green and gold, one ahead of Martyn Wood and current Saints coach Alex King.

Form: The two clubs that contested last season's Aviva Premiership Rugby final once more lock horns at Welford Road. The Tigers only loss in their last seven fixtures came at Bath in round 2, whilst they have been defeated only once at Welford Road in any competition in the last twelve months: 27-32 to Saracens in February.Northampton Saints have lost just once so far this season: 24-26 at Gloucester in round 3. The Saints have won six of their last eight away games in the Premiership. The Tigers have been victorious in their last eight fixtures with The Saints, their best run against their near neighbours and East Midlands rivals since the 1980s. Northampton have not won at Welford Road since their 10-9 victory there in the Premiership in February 2007.

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Niall Morris, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Ed Slater, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Jamie Gibson, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Dan Bowden.

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Samu Manoa, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 GJ Van Velze, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 James Wilson, 23 Ken Pisi.

Date: Saturday, October 5
Kick-off: 15:15 BST
Venue: Welford Road
Referee: J P Doyle
Assistant referees : Paul Dix and Robin Goodliffe
TMO: David Grashoff

  • Aviva Prem Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
  • Aviva Prem Results
Recent Results
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
Saturday , September 13
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh 0 - 52 ExeterLondon Welsh vs Exeter Report
Saturday , September 6
Sale Sharks 20 - 29 BathSale Sharks vs Bath Report
Saracens 34 - 28 WaspsSaracens vs Wasps Report
Leicester 36 - 17 NewcastleLeicester vs Newcastle Report
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Aviva Prem Table
Aviva Premiership Table
3Leicester Tigers29