Northampton Saints v Castres - Heineken Cup match preview
Last Updated: 11/01/13 8:09pm
Northampton will welcome back England flanker Tom Wood for their must-win Heineken Cup clash with Castres on Friday at Franklin's Gardens.
The Saints kept alive their quarter-final hopes with victory over Ulster at Ravenhill in round four, however they remain five points off an automatic qualification place.
Victory over the French outfit, though, will see them climb to second and keep the heat on Ulster at the top.
Wood comes into a rejigged back-row, with Phil Dowson moving to No 8, while lock Samu Manoa also comes into the pack.
The only change in the back division sees James Wilson replace the injured Ken Pisi (ankle) on the wing.
Castres have handed want-away scrum-half Rory Kockott a start for the Pool Four encounter.
Kockott wants to leave the club in a bid to further his Test ambitions however he will link up with former Hurricanes No 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick at half-back.
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Phil Dowson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 GJ Van Velze, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.
Castres: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Max Evans, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Jannie Bornman, 5 Iosefa Tekori, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Mathieu Bonello, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Saimone Taumoepeau, 18 Michael Coetzee, 19 Matthias Rolland, 20 Paul Bonnefond, 21 Pedrie Wannenburg, 22 Pierre Bernard, 23 Thomas Sanchou.
What they said...
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder
"We still have a massive point to prove in Europe, and the players know what is expected of them on Friday night.
"We need a win to keep our destiny in our own hands, especially as Castres are two points ahead of us in the pool.
"We also know that it will not be easy against one of the top teams in France. Castres have been in superb form over the past few months and have been playing a style of rugby which makes the most of their big forwards and speed out wide."
Heineken Cup week five 2012/13
Fly-half Ronan O'Gara has been cited for allegedly kicking Edinburgh's Sean Cox during Munster's 26-17 win on Sunday.
Take a look back at the best tries from this weekend's Heineken Cup action.
Richard Cockerill predicted a Heineken Cup "classic" when Leicester and Toulouse go head to head at Welford Road.
- Heineken hopes
- Toulouse too good for Treviso
- Leicester set up grand finale
- Penney: We had to make sure
- Munster stay in the hunt
- Schmidt not happy despite win
- Maturing Saracens satisfy boss
- Heineken Cup exit for Exeter
- Bonus keeps Leinster alive
- Fiddes' Cent
- Toulon progress pleases Jonny
- Farrell stars in Sarries win
- Harlequins earn O'Shea praise
- Biarritz ease past Zebre
- Five from five for Harlequins
- Toulon power past Blues
- Heineken Cup views
- Diamond upbeat despite loss
- Anscombe joy at qualification
- Mallinder relieved after win
- Montpellier ease past Sharks
- Ulster through to last eight