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Preview: Harlequins v Northampton Saints

Preview: Harlequins v Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints flyer Jamie Elliott is determined to help his stuttering side rediscover some much-needed form as they head to the capital this weekend to take on Harlequins.

Northampton Saints solitary victory in the last four rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby was 8-3 at home to Exeter on New Year's Day, but they went down on home soil to Wasps last Friday.

Saints may have won their most recent away fixture – at Scarlets in the Champions Cup, but have been victorious just once on the road in Aviva Premiership Rugby since last February.

One statistic certainly in Northampton’s favour though is they have won their last five fixtures against Harlequins in all tournaments since Quins' 22-19 victory in Premiership Rugby at the Twickenham Stoop in May 2013.

And Elliott is determined to keep their run going against Conor O’Shea’s men as they face a Harlequins side that can cement their place in the top four if they see off their potential play-off rivals.

“Quins are a good side; they have a good balance of a strong forward pack but also look to throw the ball around,” said Elliott. “The Stoop is a great place to play and I am sure it’s going to be a rocking atmosphere on Saturday.

“Away from home, it’s important that we make a stand and show what we can do.

"That's the greatest thing about this game. You've got another chance next week to make amends and make it better.

"It will be a good battle; we're all looking forward to it especially after last Friday. We have to make amends and down at their place it will be a great atmosphere.

"They'll look to move the ball and shift it and it will be a nice physical game."

Harlequins were defeated 26-19 at Newcastle Falcons last Sunday and have not suffered consecutive losses in Aviva Premiership Rugby since the end of last season.

The Londoners are unbeaten in any competition at home this campaign, with their most recent reversal at the Twickenham Stoop being by a single point to Bath Rugby last season.

Although aware a six-day turnaround has not done his side any favours, Harlequins boss O’Shea is full of confidence ahead of this weekend.

“A six-day turnaround is never easy in the Premiership, especially at the start of an important 10-game stretch,” he said.

“We are all focused on getting in the top four and seeing where the Challenge Cup takes us.” 

Twickenham Stoop, 2pm

Referee: Greg Garner (90th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff & Roy Maybank. TMO: Rowan Kitt.

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