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Preview: Harlequins v Northampton Saints

Preview: Harlequins v Northampton Saints

Paul Doran Jones admits he is relishing the chance to make his home Harlequins debut against former club Northampton Saints.

After two years in Northampton, Doran Jones swapped Franklin’s Gardens for the Stoop this summer as he arrives at Harlequins looking to fill the void left by James Johnston, who departed for Saracens.

Doran Jones began life at Quins on the bench as they got off to a winning start this Aviva Premiership season, only just though as they squeezed past London Wasps at Twickenham 16-15.

But with the fixture gods seeing a potential home debut for Doran Jones pencilled in against Saints this Saturday, live on BT Sport, the 28-year-old insists this is exactly how he would have written the script himself.

"If it could have been drawn up, this is probably how I would have wanted it,” he said.

"It will be tough for both sides but it will be a great experience for me, with a packed house at the Stoop hopefully. It will be fiercely competitive.

“Both clubs are great clubs. Northampton is a fantastic club with a massive fanbase, huge stadium and a tradition.

"It was just a chance to come back home, live where I grew up, settle here and hopefully put some roots down.

"I don't really want to be moving too much more. It was a great opportunity at a club which is doing really, really well.

"It was a tough decision to leave Saints but hopefully it will be a long, illustrious career here.

"I am really enjoying it and it is a fantastic club. The way they try to play the game is one that hopefully suits me."

Doran Jones will be hoping to help his new club win their first two games of an Aviva Premiership season for a third-straight campaign, with Harlequins having lost two of their last five home league games.

The Saints have won four of their last five away games but have not tasted victory at the Stoop since September 11 2010.

Northampton’s only victory over Quins in their last seven clashes in all competitions was a 24-3 win at Franklin’s Gardens in January 2012, but they too got off to a winning start as they overcame Exeter Chiefs 38-11 in their opener.

But despite this fast start Courtney Lawes is aware that Quins will pose an entirely different threat.

“There’s no team in the Prem who are walkovers so you’ve got to be prepared for battle every weekend and the next one is certainly no different,” Lawes said.

“They’re going to be tough and we’ll have to dig in but we’ve got good camaraderie at the minute and I’m sure we’ll able pull through.”

“We’ve had a lot of big signings, some really crucial players come in and players like big Samu (Manoa) who are still on good form from last year.

“We’ve also got players coming back into form and injuries so there’s a good feeling at the moment.

“The competition for places is fantastic. It’s going to make you a better player, it makes everyone better and it is what you need.”

Referee: Andrew Small (87th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Kevin Stewart and Nigel Carrick. TMO: David Grashoff.

Live on BT Sport

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