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Saints looking forward to Premiership return

Saints looking forward to Premiership return

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that the Northampton Saints players are looking forward to returning to Aviva Premiership Rugby this weekend.

The Saints travel to Edgeley Park on Friday night to play an in-form Sale Sharks outfit on the back of an unbeaten start to their LV= Cup defence, including a 28-3 win over Newport-Gwent Dragons last week.

And as his team looks to continue the form that has taken them to the top end of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, Mallinder said that the Anglo-Welsh competition has put the squad in good spirits ahead of the next few games.

“The LV= Cup is a good competition for us,” Mallinder said today. “It gives the coaches an opportunity to try some new things and allows players time to show what they can do in the first team. Jamie Elliott in particular impressed against Saracens a fortnight ago and when he came off the bench against the Dragons, and deserves his chance in the Premiership.

“We had two positive results against Saracens and the Dragons, and now we’re looking to take that momentum back into Aviva Premiership Rugby.

“Edgeley Park is a tough place to play and Sale have been going well this season, especially at home. The Sharks have showed how much strength in depth they’ve got by putting together some good wins in all competitions recently and Mike Brewer has them playing an effective style of rugby.

“However we’ve been playing well recently too, and I have confidence that the team we’ve selected can go to Stockport and get a positive result.”

In team news, Jamie Elliott makes his Aviva Premiership Rugby debut on the wing and Greig Tonks returns at full back, while Roger Wilson and Bruce Reihana have recovered from their respective leg and finger injuries to take their places on the replacements bench.

If you cannot make the game in Stockport – which is not being shown live on television – then don’t forget that you can still follow all the action on the Saints’ exclusive Facebook match blog. Just go to www.facebook.com and search for ‘Official Northampton Saints’.

Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 8
Edgeley Park
Friday, November 19th, 2010
Kick off 7:45pm

15 Greig Tonks
14 Jamie Elliott
13 Jon Clarke
12 James Downey
11 Paul Diggin
10 Stephen Myler
9 Ryan Powell
1 Soane Tonga’uiha
2 Brett Sharman
3 Brian Mujati
4 Mark Sorenson
5 Christian Day
6 Calum Clark
7 Tom Wood
8 Phil Dowson (capt)

16 Andy Long
17 Regardt Dreyer
18 Tom Mercey
19 Mark Easter
20 Roger Wilson
21 Stuart Commins
22 Shane Geraghty
23 Bruce Reihana


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