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Preview: Northampton v Bath

27th December 2013 09:50

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SKY_MOBILE Dylan Hartley - Northampton Saints

Dylan Hartley: Back for Saints

Northampton welcome back three stalwarts to their starting XV for Saturday's Premiership clash with Bath at Franklin's Gardens.

Captain Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes both come back into the pack and George Pisi will wear the number 13 shirt following the end of his recent suspension.

Meanwhile, Bath have made just one change to the starting line-up who beat Harlequins last weekend in the Premiership.

Martin Roberts comes into the scrum-half position, with Peter Stringer shifting to the bench. Roberts will re-from his partnership with George Ford in the half-backs.

Matt Banahan and Horacio Agulla are named out wide on the wings, with Jonathan Joseph and Kyle Eastmond in the centres and Anthony Watson continuing at full-back.

In the pack, the all-international front row of Paul James, Rob Webber and Anthony Perenise is once again selected, with Stuart Hooper and Dave Attwood combining in the second row.

Matt Garvey and Francois Louw start on the blind and open side flanks respectively, with Carl Fearns remaining at number eight.

Form: Northampton Saints have won their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby matches since their 19-all draw at Leicester in round 5, their only defeat in the competition this campaign came at Gloucester in round 3. The Saints have won their last five Premiership home games since the Tigers won at Franklin's Gardens in March. Bath Rugby have won their last eleven matches in all tournaments since their 13-19 reversal at Sale Sharks on 4th October - this represents the club's best run for a decade. Northampton have won the last four Premiership matches they have played against Bath since Bath's 38-3 win at The Rec in February 2011. Bath have won just once at Franklin's Gardens since 2000: 37-30 against Saracens there on 6th November 2004.

The teams:

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

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Eusebio Guinazu, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Leroy Houston, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Nick Abendanon.

Date: Saturday, December 28
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Paul Dix, Kevin Stewart
Timekeeper: Brian Abrahams
Television match official: Keith Lewis
Assessor: Tony Spreadbury

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
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Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821