Jim Mallinder enjoying Northampton's double challenge for silverware

Last Updated: 24/04/14 1:59pm

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Jim Mallinder: In the running for domestic and European double

Jim Mallinder: In the running for domestic and European double

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Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder insists the battle for domestic and European titles this season has been "brilliant" for the club.

The Saints are currently second in the Aviva Premiership table and assured of a place in the semi-finals, while they have also reached the last four of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Mallinder's side take on Harlequins on Friday night for the right to play either Wasps or Bath in an all-English final next month.

"It's brilliant for us," Mallinder said. "It's the end of the season, and the kind of match that we want to be playing in. We will be giving it everything that we can to qualify.

"We've got a good squad, and we are going to have to use it now a little bit to make sure we get through to the end of the season fighting, but we don't want to go out early.

"We want to get through to the finals of both competitions (Challenge Cup and Premiership)."

Northampton have beaten Harlequins twice in Aviva Premiership action this season, but Quins lock George Robson insists his side can turn the tables in Friday's clash at Franklin's Gardens.

"I think we are confident at the moment that we can beat any team, no matter who it is," he said.

"It is a one-off game, and we will go out there and enjoy it and hopefully come away with a good win.

"They (Northampton) are a great side and they have a similar attacking philosophy to us, so I think it's going to be a great game.

"We know what their strengths are, but we know our own strengths as well. It's just about focusing on those and being at our best.

"We have a great history in the competition and have won it quite a few times, so we know what it takes and what we will have to do.

"They have beaten us twice (in the Premiership), but both games were very nip and tuck. There wasn't much in them, so there is no feeling around the camp of 'oh no, it's them again', because we all feel confident of getting a win.

"They pose a big challenge, but we know it's going to be a good game and we are really going to enjoy playing them. It's really exciting stuff, and we are doing very well to be performing like we are.

"The more times we play in a knockout situation the more experience you get, and you get confidence from that."

Watch Northampton face Harlequins in the Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals live on Friday evening, coverage starts a 7.30pm on Sky Sports 2

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