Northampton v Sale: Teams
At Franklin's Gardens, Saturday April 2, kick-off 2.30pm
By Tony Curtis - Twitter: @SkySportsTC. Last Updated: 01/04/11 4:29pm
Mallinder: Wary of the Sharks
Northampton boss Jim Mallinder has warned his side not to underestimate Sale when they clash at Franklin's Gardens.
Wins over Leeds and Wasps have kick-started Northampton's challenge after a mid-season slump.
And Mallinder wants his side to maintain their focus against a Sharks side that has found itself at the wrong end of the table.
"Sale are capable of playing some good rugby," he said. "Their 8,9 and 10 are very strong which is always an important area and they also have two quality wingers in Ben Cohen and Mark Cueto. They have threats all over the field and we need to make sure we are on our game.
"Charlie Hodgson is a very good goal-kicker and he will take any chances he gets. We have to make sure we are not over eager and give away stupid penalties or else we will get punished with field possession or penalty goals.
"There's no way this game will get forgotten. We are determined to finish in the top four. To do that we have to make sure we win our home games and that starts with this Saturday. To take our eyes off the game would be to our detriment."
Sale executive director Steve Diamond believes the Saints can go on to have a strong finish to the season.
Diamond said: "Over a period of three years, I recruited many of the players who have done so well for Northampton Saints.
"They may have hit a lean patch earlier this year, but are sure to benefit from the return of their international players, as they showed in the big win against London Wasps last Sunday.
"I fully expect the Saints to have a strong end to the season, including a good run in the Heineken Cup."
Sale welcome back David Seymour to their starting XV, while Rob Miller is named on the bench.
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Paul Diggin, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 3 Brian Mujati, 4 Courtney Lawes, 5 Christian Day, 6 Calum Clark, 7 Tom Wood, 8 Roger Wilson
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Stuart Commins, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Bruce Reihana
Sale: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Ben Cohen, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Kyle Tonetti, 11 Mark Cueto (capt), 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Dwayne Peel, 1 Lee Imiolek, 2 Neil Briggs, 3 Henry Thomas, 4 Chris Jones, 5 Wame Lewaravu, 6 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour, 8 Sisaro Koyamaibole.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Eifion Roberts, 18 Jack Forster, 19 Nic Rouse, 20 Neil McMillan, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Iain Thornley.