Aviva Premiership: Harlequins host Saints while Newcastle travel to Sale

By Ben Hampshire - Follow me: @BH92.   Last Updated: 13/09/13 11:08pm

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Round two of the Aviva Premiership season kicks off on Friday evening as last term's runners-up Northampton Saints travel to face Harlequins, while Sale Sharks host Newcastle Falcons at the Salford City Stadium.

The Saints raced to a bonus point victory over Exeter Chiefs at Franklin's Gardens on the opening weekend to put them top of the table but it was less than plain sailing Harlequins, who edged their way past London Wasps 16-15.

Jim Mallinder's men ran in five tries on their way to a 38-11 victory but the star signing of the summer. Dylan Hartley opened the scoring for the Saints before brothers Ken and George Pisi added to the tally alongside tries from Tom Wood and Samu Manoa.

Meanwhile it was more of a nail-biting time for Quins as Andy Goode's injury-time conversion miss allowed them to hold out for their first win of the season in a Twickenham derby.

Paul Doran Jones will make his full Harlequins debut against his former Northampton team-mates having started from the bench against Wasps. Tom Williams comes into the back three alongside Ugo Monye and Mike Brown while Tom Casson gets the nod at inside centre.

Kahn Fotuali'i will make his Saints debut as one of four changes to the starting XV with James Wilson, Calum Clark and Samu Manoa also included. George Pisi, Phil Dowson, Sam Dickinson and Lee Dickson are demoted to the bench as Mallinder rotates his squad for the trip to the Stoop.


Newcastle Falcons will go in search of their first victory since returning to the top flight when they take on Steve Diamond's Sale Sharks.

The Falcons received less than a warm welcome back to the Premiership endured a 21-0 defeat to Bath in driving rain last Saturday. Newcastle lacked discipline in the difficult conditions as George Ford was allowed to slot home three penalties before referee Wayne Barnes awarded a late penalty try.

It was a brighter start for Sale however, as Mark Cueto inspired the Sharks to an impressive 22-16 victory against Gloucester at Kingsholm. The winger, the record try scorer in the history of the league, took his career tally to 79 before centre Andy Forsyth sealed the victory with his second-half touchdown.

Falcons captain Will Welch returns to the pack having missed last weekend's opener and is one of five changes to the Newcastle side. Hooker Matt Thompson has recovered from illness to join the front row with prop Oliver Tomaszczyk while Fraser McKenzie comes into the second row and Adam Powell gets the nod at inside centre.

There is just one switch for the Sharks as Diamond's hand has been forced by injury. Jonny Leota picked up a knock against Gloucester so Tom Brady starts on the left wing - with Cueto moving to outside centre.

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