Aviva Premiership match preview: Harlequins v Northampton Saints
Last Updated: 04/05/13 1:42pm
Harlequins have named four changes to their side ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash against Northampton Saints at the Twickenham Stoop.
Tom Casson comes into the side at centre to partner George Lowe having missed out on the win against Worcester Warriors two weeks ago.
In the forward line Rob Buchanan starts at hooker while Tom Guest comes in to replace Maurie Fa'asavalu in the back row.
England captain Chris Robshaw is unavailable having picked up a knock against Worcester but Harlequins coach Conor O'Shea expects the forward to be fit to feature in next week's Premiership semi-final.
The visiting Northampton Saints have also made four changes to their squad which beat Sale time out to secure a play-off position.
George Pisi returns to the starting XV at outside centre in place of Tom May as the Saints look to leapfrog Harlequins in the Premiership standings.
In the pack Samu Manoa takes the number eight jersey ahead of GJ van Velze who is demoted to the bench while Calum Clark returns in the flanks to partner Tom Wood.
Both sides head into the clash with back-to-back wins and just one point between them meaning the victor will take third place in the Premiership table.
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 George Lowe, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 Olly Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ross Chisholm.
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 GJ van Velze, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 James Wilson.
What they said...
Harlequins winger Tom Williams
"At this stage of the season it is all about trying to build some momentum and get into a the habit of winning.
"We have had a great season, we had a little blip after Christmas during the Six Nations when we lost our top of the table spot but if you look back at the results our percentage of wins is really high."
Northampton flanker Calum Clark
"It's a chance to play against a top side, to test ourselves as best as we can and see where we stand at the end of the game.
"We're going to be coming up against another good team in the semi-final and potentially another one in the final."
Aviva Premiership 2012/13 Round 22
Mark McCall hailed a "big achievement" for Saracens after they topped the regular season standings for the first time.
Saracens confirmed top spot in the final Aviva Premiership table with a 23-14 win over Bath at Allianz Park.
Sale Sharks have named six changes in their starting XV to face London Wasps in Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash.