Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers - Aviva Premiership match preview
Last Updated: 30/03/13 2:19pm
Northampton Saints have made just two changes to their starting XV for Saturday's mouth-watering derby with Leicester.
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder has recalled the versatile Tom May and England No 8 Tom Wood for the clash.
Former England international May starts in the centre ahead of Dom Waldouck, while Wood preferred to the benched GJ van Velze.
There is a further change to the replacement with Luther Burrell providing cover to the back division.
Leicester boss Richard Cockerill has opted to name an unchanged line-up for the short to Franklin's Gardens.
The Tigers beat Exeter last time out to move up to second as the race for the play-off places hots up.
However Cockerill will be aware of the fact that the Saints, who are clinging on to the final spot in the top four, will be gunning for revenge after their 16-12 defeat earlier in the season.
Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom May, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Samu Manoa, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements:16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 GJ van Velze, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Luther Burrell.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements:16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Thomas Waldrom, 20 Graham Kitchener, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.
What they said...
Saints second row Christian Day
"Any time you play a team in the top six you know you're playing international standard players in practically every position and Leicester are no different to that.
"We've got a close rivalry and playing Leicester is a massive test, no matter where you're from. They've been at the pinnacle of European rugby for a long time and we know they're coming here to test us once again.
"We need to up our game and look to get the win we want."
Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill
"Fixtures between Leicester and Northampton are always very competitive and we're both chasing semi-final spots.
"We had a very good win at Exeter last week, the international boys came back in and got straight into it, and we'll be up for the battle.
"We have a lot of respect for Saints and their supporters, we obviously know each other very well and a healthy rivalry is good for both us."
Watch Northampton v Leicester live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 2.30pm
Fri 24th Apr
Bath43 - 18London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks23 - 25Harlequins
Gloucester42 - 40Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers38 - 17London Welsh
Northampton25 - 20Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps36 - 29Exeter
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
Aviva Premiership 2012/13 Round 19
Sale boss Steve Diamond was thrilled after the Sharks secured three crucial points in the 33-33 draw at London Irish.
Worcester coach Richard Hill says the sin-binning of Josh Matavesi was the turning point in their 24-18 loss to Exeter.
Richard Cockerill says he has never seen Manu Tuilagi play better than his performance in the 36-8 rout of Northampton.
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- O'Shea fumes at disallowed try
- Gloucester claim comeback win
- Worcester v Exeter: Teams
- Bath v London Welsh: Teams