Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that all of the attention this week at Franklin’s Gardens has been given to achieving a positive result in Castres this weekend.

The Saints qualified for the Heineken Cup quarter finals with their Round 5 win over Edinburgh. But with a home tie far from certain Mallinder says that he wants the Saints team to keep their future in their own hands by winning in Castres – something that no other team has managed so far in either the Heineken Cup or Top 14 in 2010/11.

“It is a massive challenge for us this weekend,” Mallinder said. “Castres are a quality team with a proud record at home and they have beaten some big teams there this season.

“We know from the home tie that it doesn’t matter what team they put out, they will be competitive and very physical, especially up front, and we will have to be prepared to be asked questions all over the field.

“But we also know that our future is in our own hands and that if we win we will have a home quarter final, which will be very important as the Heineken Cup continues later in the year.

“This is a massive motivation. We don’t want to be having to rely on other teams in other games, and all of our attention this week has been put towards getting a positive result in Castres.”

There are a wide variety of ways to follow the action from southern France. The Saints’ official Facebook page will have the usual exclusive match blog, with score updates also being published every 10 minutes on the club’s Twitter feed.

BBC Radio Northampton will have live commentary, while Sky subscribers will be able to watch the match live on Sky Sports 1/HD1.


Heineken Cup Round 6

Stade Pierre Antoine

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Kick off 6:45pm CET

15 Ben Foden

14 Joe Ansbro

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 Calum Clark

5 Mark Sorenson

6 Phil Dowson

7 Tom Wood

8 Roger Wilson


16 Brett Sharman

17 Alex Waller

18 Tom Mercey

19 Christian Day

20 Mark Easter

21 Stuart Commins

22 Shane Geraghty

23 Bruce Reihana