Heineken Cup Pool 1: Northampton v The Ospreys match preview
Last Updated: 20/10/13 12:36pm
The Ospreys travel to Northampton Saints on Sunday with both sides looking bounce back from opening defeats in European competition.
Saints at least grabbed a losing bonus-point after going down by six points in Castres, but the Ospreys did not even manage that after late penalty from Leinster fly-half Jimmy Gopperth condemned them to a 19-9 home defeat.
Northampton's recruitment of big name players over the off-season, most notably Wales wing George North, was designed with Heineken Cup success in mind, so a winning return at Franklin's Gardens will be imperative for head coach Jim Mallinder.
Lee Dickson, who was named in the England squad earlier this week, will start at scrum-half for Northampton after getting the nod over Samoan number nine Kahn Fotuali'i who joined from Ospreys in the summer.
Elsewhere Saints make a raft of changes to the starting line-up which earned that losing bonus point in Castres.
Jamie Elliott is selected on the wing, Alex Waller replaces the injured Alex Corbisiero in the front row, while Phil Dowson and Samu Manoa both come into the back row.
Ken Pisi, Fotuali'i and Calum Clark all drop to the bench, with Ethan Waller and GJ Van Velze coming into the match day squad.
Debut for Hassler
Meanwhile for the Ospreys, wing Jeff Hassler wins his first start in place of Ben John, with Tom Habberfield replacing Tito Tebaldi at scrum-half.
Ryan Bevington gets the start at loosehead prop ahead of Duncan Jones.
"This is a big game for us, one that everybody in the camp is really looking forward to," said Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy. "We didn't do ourselves justice at the Liberty on Saturday, we had the third biggest Heineken Cup crowd of the weekend and it's disappointing that we weren't able to reward such a big turnout with a good performance."
Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Steve Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 James Wilson, 23 Ken Pisi
Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 James King, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Tyler Ardron, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Sam Lewis, 22 Tito Tebaldi, 23 Matthew Morgan