Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder said today that he is wary of the dangers that will be posed by Newcastle Falcons in tomorrow night’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 20 clash at Kingston Park.

The Saints return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action still in the hunt for a top four spot and the place in the semi-finals that comes with it. But Newcastle’s result against Leeds last week sees them fighting for a place in the league, and Mallinder commented that this will make the Falcons very dangerous on their home turf.

“Newcastle are fighting for their lives and will battle throughout the full 80 minutes and beyond,” he said. “We are right at the business end of the season and a point here or there really matters to every team whether you are at the top or the bottom of the lead. The Falcons are physical in midfield, have a committed pack of forwards and one of the Premiership’s top points scorers in Jimmy Gopperth. It will certainly not be easy for us at Kingston Park, far from it, and we are prepared for a tough challenge.”

“We got a good result on Sunday in Milton Keynes, but that is behind us now and we have been fully focused on Newcastle all week. Understandably the players have been in good spirits, but they also know that we have to keep winning if we are to secure a place in the top four for the play-offs. There are lots of teams ready to capitalise if we slip up, so we have to make sure we don’t.”

Tomorrow night’s game is being shown live on ESPN, with coverage starting from 7pm.

Alternatively you can follow all the action in the Saints’ Facebook match blog and get score updates via the club’s Twitter feed.

BBC Radio Northampton will carry live commentary, which you can also find online via

Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 20
Kingston Park
Friday, April 15th, 2011
Kick off 7:45pm

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

16 Brett Sharman
17 Alex Waller
18 Tom Mercey
19 Mark Sorenson
20 Tom Wood
21 Stuart Commins
22 Shane Geraghty
23 Bruce Reihana