courtney lawes englandThe Northampton Saints team has been named for Sunday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 trip to Exeter. The Saints are one of just three teams who had experienced Sandy Park before the 2010/11 season got underway, having played there in November 2007 during the National League One campaign.

But with just five out of the 22 Saints players who turned out that day having been named in Sunday’s 23-man squad, director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that a lot has changed at both clubs.

“It was obvious then that Sandy Park was a Premiership venue and that the Chiefs were an ambitious club, and this season they have showed that they belong in the top flight,” Mallinder said today. “They have played really well this season both home and away, but it is at Sandy Park where they are particularly strong.

“They like to get over the gain line with their big runners, but they like to spin the ball wide as well. And we will have to keep our discipline as well because they have some excellent goal kickers.

“However we are going to Exeter in good spirits. The atmosphere and commitment in training has been good all week. Although the results haven’t been going our way recently we have performed reasonably well in patches. Now we have to turn those patches into a full 80 minutes and get a positive result on Sunday.”


Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17

Sandy Park

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Kick off 3:00pm

15 Bruce Reihana

14 Joe Ansbro

13 Jon Clarke

12 James Downey

11 Paul Diggin

10 Stephen Myler

9 Stuart Commins

1 Soane Tonga’uiha

2 Brett Sharman

3 Brian Mujati

4 Courtney Lawes

5 Mark Sorenson

6 Calum Clark

7 Phil Dowson (capt)

8 Mark Easter


16 Andy Long

17 Alex Waller

18 Tom Mercey

19 Christian Day

20 Adam Eustace

21 Ryan Powell

22 Shane Geraghty