Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v Northampton

12th September 2013 11:40

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2Centre Tom Casson of Harlequins dives over to score a try during the LV Cup Final

Inside centre: Tom Casson

Harlequins have made four changes to play Northampton Saints at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday in the Aviva Premiership.

There are four changes to the side that beat London Wasps last weekend at Twickenham Stadium.

In the backs, Tom Williams is named on the right wing, joining Ugo Monye and Mike Brown in the back three. Tom Casson starts, partnering George Lowe in the centres, while Danny Care and Nick Evans continue their half-back pairing.

In the forwards, Paul Doran Jones makes his senior starting debut for the club after coming on as a replacement last weekend against Wasps.

George Merrick continues in the second row with George Robson, while Maurie Fa'asavalu, Nick Easter and, captain, Chris Robshaw form the back row.

Among the replacements, Will Collier, Luke Wallace and Sam Smith are named.

Meanwhile, despite a winning start to the Aviva Premiership campaign, director of rugby Jim Mallinder and the Northampton coaches have made four changes to the Saints team that heads to Harlequins on Friday.

The Saints earned a maximum haul from their Aviva Premiership Round One victory over Exeter last week.

However that has not stopped the coaches from bringing in James Wilson, Calum Clark, Samu Manoa and Kahn Fotuali'i, the latter for his first competitive start in the black, green and gold.

The quartet come in for George Pisi, Phil Dowson, Sam Dickinson and Lee Dickson respectively, who will all be at the Stoop on the replacements' bench.

Form: Harlequins narrowly overcame London Wasps at Twickenham on Saturday and are seeking to win their opening two games of an Aviva Premiership campaign for a third successive season. 'Quins have slipped to two defeats in their last five Premiership encounters at the Twickenham Stoop. Northampton Saints repelled Exeter Chiefs with a bonus point victory at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday. The Saints have won four of their last five away games in the competition. Northampton's only victory over Harlequins in their last seven encounters in all competitions was 24-3 at Franklin's Gardens in January 2012. The Saints have not been victorious at the Stoop since 11th September 2010.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 George Lowe, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 George Merrick, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Tom Guest, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Sam Smith.

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

Date: Friday, September 13
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Kevin Stewart, Nigel Carrick
Timekeeper: Robert Ockenden
Television match official: David Grashoff
Assessor: Jerry Wallis

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