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Premiership Rugby

Mallinder calls for massive improvement

Mallinder calls for massive improvement

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder said that the Northampton Saints team will have to play "a lot better than last week" if they are to get a positive result from tomorrow’s East Midlands derby at Welford Road.

The Saints and Leicester lead the way in the Aviva Premiership Rugby league table, with the former’s New Year’s Day loss to Harlequins allowing the Tigers to leapfrog them into top spot.

Mallinder said today that the reverse against Harlequins has focused the players’ minds in training this week.

“We underperformed against Harlequins and there are plenty of players with points to prove this weekend,” he said. “We will certainly have to play a lot better than last week if we want to come home with something from tomorrow’s game. Leicester have been getting good results in the past couple of weeks and have threats all over the field that we will have to watch out for.

“But we know that we can play good rugby as well and everyone has been concentrating on getting back to the levels we expect of ourselves.”

There is one enforced change to the Saints’ starting line-up from last weekend, Ryan Powell coming in for Lee Dickson at scrum-half. Dickson dislocated a shoulder in the final play of last Saturday’s game and has been ruled out for several weeks. Powell’s place on the bench has been taken by Stuart Commins.

Saturday’s game at Welford Road is sold out. But there are still a variety of ways that Saints supporters can follow the action. The club’s official Facebook page will have the usual exclusive match blog and score updates will be published every 10 minutes on the Saints’ Twitter feed.

BBC Radio Northampton will have match commentary, with online commentary available exclusively at www.PremiershipRugby.tv. The game is also being shown live on Sky Sports 1/HD1.

15 Ben Foden
14 Chris Ashton
13 Jon Clarke
12 James Downey
11 Paul Diggin
10 Stephen Myler
9 Ryan Powell
1 Soane Tonga’uiha
2 Dylan Hartley (capt)
3 Brian Mujati
4 Courtney Lawes
5 Christian Day
6 Phil Dowson
7 Tom Wood
8 Roger Wilson

Replacements
16 Brett Sharman
17 Regardt Dreyer
18 Tom Mercey
19 Mark Sorenson
20 Calum Clark
21 Stuart Commins
22 Shane Geraghty
23 Joe Ansbro

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