Northampton v Worcester Warriors - Aviva Premiership match preview
Last Updated: 22/09/12 10:06am
James Wilson will make his Northampton debut in today's Aviva Premiership clash with Worcester.
The versatile New Zealander gets his chance in the No.15 jersey as Ben Foden is facing up to 12 weeks out injured.
Wilson, who arrived at Franklin's Gardens from Bourgoin, is joined in the Saints XV by the fit-again Courtney Lawes.
The England lock returns to action to make his first start since February.
Worcester boss Richard Hill has made just the change to his line-up following the draw with Gloucester last time out.
Summer signing Semisi Taulava returns to the No.8 shirt, with Matt Kvesic named on the bench.
Northampton: 15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Vasily Artemyev, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 1 Soane Tonga'uhia, 2 Dylan Hartley, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 4 Samu Manoa, 5 Christian Day, 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Phil Dowson, 8 Rhys Oakley. Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Tom Wood, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Dom Waldouck
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Joe Carlisle, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Shaun Perry, 1 Matt Mullan, 2 Aleki Lutui, 3 John Andress, 4 James Percival, 5 Dean Schofield (c), 6 Chris Jones, 7 Sam Betty, 8 Semisi Taulava. Replacements: 16 Ollie Hayes, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 James Currie, 19 Craig Gillies, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Josh Matavesi, 23 Josh Drauniniu
What they said...
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder
"We've won our first three games, which is good, but there has been plenty to work on ahead of Saturday's game. We've gone ahead in games and then let the other team back in, which is something we've got to stop doing, especially in such a tight competition like the Aviva Premiership.
"Worcester have played some good rugby in their first three games, and have been very competitive. Richard Hill has brought some good players in and it's going to be a difficult game for us.
"We've got to look at our own performance and to step things up if we're going to continue our good start."
Worcester head coach Richard Hill
"We've done a lot of work on trying to manoeuvre opposition defences to find the holes. We're obviously doing that now because we've made line breaks in all the matches we've played in.
"A huge amount of work this week has gone into to having the right mentality, to expect players to make those breaks and when they do have someone on the shoulder.
"If we had someone on the shoulder of Alex Grove, Nikki Walker and Chris Jones when they made their breaks against Gloucester then we would have finished them off."
Fri 24th Apr
Bath43 - 18London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks0 - 0Harlequins
Gloucester0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers0 - 0London Welsh
Northampton0 - 0Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps0 - 0Exeter
Fri 8th May
Harlequins0 - 0Bath
Sat 9th May
Sale Sharks0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester0 - 0London Irish
Northampton0 - 0London Welsh
Wasps0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 10th May
Saracens0 - 0Exeter
Sat 16th May
Bath0 - 0Gloucester
Exeter0 - 0Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers0 - 0Northampton
London Irish0 - 0Wasps
London Welsh0 - 0Saracens
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Harlequins