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Preview: London Irish v Northampton Saints

Preview: London Irish v Northampton Saints

Lock Nic Rouse hopes London Irish can turn on the style when Northampton Saints visit the Madejski Stadium on Boxing Day.

The Exiles are still chasing their first Aviva Premiership Rugby win of the season but the Madejski faithful have had some reason to cheer this term, with victories recorded in Europe against Agen and Edinburgh.

Saints have been relatively off colour this term with three wins from their six Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, leaving them fifth in the table.

And Rouse senses a chance to pick up some long overdue points.

“The Boxing Day clashes are great family days and it will be good for the supporters to get behind us and come and support us,” said the 34-year-old, awaiting his first league appearance of the season in Irish colours.

“The game is on TV as well, so we want to give a good account of ourselves and show what we can do.

“We have had some exciting games with Northampton Saints in the past and I am sure this will be no different even though they are a tough side.

“Hopefully the home crowd can spur us on to victory and we can head into the new year with a bit more confidence.”

Saints have won the last six of their fixtures with London Irish – a run that stretches back to October 2012.

And they look to have turned a corner this term, rattling off narrow back-to-back wins against Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby after an uncharacteristically slow start.

Scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i though, believes they should head to Berkshire with some caution.

“London Irish is not going to be an easy task,” he said.

“People talk about them being at the lower level of the table, but that's not a problem for them.

"We've still got to turn up and hopefully not eat too much over Christmas and play well.

“We've got to make sure we do what we need to do and analyse what their threats are and what their weaknesses are.

"Most importantly, we need to turn up on the game day and execute those things, play rugby in the right areas, score more points than them and hopefully come away with the result.”

(Madejski Stadium, 2.30pm)
Referee: Ian Tempest (11th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden & Gareth Copsey. TMO: David Sainsbury.
Live on BT Sport

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