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Saints team named for New Year’s Day

Saints team named for New Year’s Day

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder today warned of the dangers posed by Harlequins when naming the team that will face the Londoners in the Saints’ first Aviva Premiership Rugby clash of 2011.

A sold-out Franklin’s Gardens will welcome the Saints and Harlequins as they see in the New Year and Mallinder said that tomorrow’s visitors are a good team with threats all over the field.

“Harlequins are in a false position in the league,” Mallinder said. “They’ve been very competitive this season and could have won several more games, including our trip to the Stoop in September. It could have gone either way. They had chances and we had chances and we had to hold out and show a lot of character.

“They’ve got excellent game managers at 8, 9 and 10. Their forwards work hard for each other and they’ve got good outside backs. They’ll certainly take some beating.

“Our Cardiff result showed that we are maturing as a team, but there’s still unfinished business. We’ve done well, we’ve had a good end to 2010, but we’re not halfway through the league programme yet, we’ve not qualified for the Heineken Cup yet and we’re bottom of our LV= Cup pool, even though we haven’t lost in it yet.

“There’s still a long way to go and we’ve got to keep working hard.”

Mallinder also praised the attitude of the Saints’ players during the recent disruptions for snowy weather.

“The players have got on with the snow and ice, which has been pleasing for us as coaches,” he added. “Whatever the conditions they know they have a job to do and that they’ve got to get on with it. The attitude of all the squad has been very good.”

Saturday’s game is not being televised. But there are still a number of ways in which supporters who have not been lucky enough to get a ticket can follow the action.

The Saints’ official Facebook page will have the usual match blog with scores published every 10 minutes via the club’s Twitter feed. BBC Radio Northampton will have live match commentary, and supporters will also be able to watch exclusive extended online highlights at www.PremiershipRugby.tv.

Franklin’s GardensSaturday, January 1st, 2011
Kick off 3:00pm15 Ben Foden
14 Chris Ashton13 Jon Clarke
12 James Downey11 Paul Diggin
10 Stephen Myler9 Lee Dickson
1 Soane Tonga’uiha2 Dylan Hartley (capt)
3 Brian Mujati4 Courtney Lawes
5 Christian Day6 Phil Dowson
7 Tom Wood8 Roger Wilson

Replacements16 Brett Sharman
17 Regardt Dreyer18 Tom Mercey
19 Mark Sorenson20 Calum Clark
21 Ryan Powell22 Shane Geraghty
23 Joe Ansbro


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