Teams announced for Saints v Tigers

This weekend it’s Semi-Final time in the Aviva Premiership and it’s going to be a blinking good one, for neutrals as well as the fans of the teams involved.

Quins nabbed the final play-off position from Bath at the last minute at the Stoop on Saturday to face top of the table Saracens this Saturday. I felt for Bath to be denied in the way they were but to fair, Harlequins have played well to come back from a pretty poor start of the season. As we’ve said before, it’s the nature of the beast when it comes to the play-offs.

Of course Sarries have been at the top of the table pretty much all season whereas Quins just got through but don’t forget that there was a similar situation last year when fourth place Saints went to Allianz Park as underdogs to top of the table Saracens, romping their way to a 13-27 victory! So I’ll be interested to see how Saturday turns out.

Saint Burda

The main attraction

But tomorrow’s action is what gets me most excited about this weekend of rugby. Yes I’m a Saints fan, this we all know but the Franklins Gardens Friday night lights are going to fall on a pretty epic battle between old foe, Saints and Tigers. A Midlands Derby is always worth a look in, we’re two of the best sides in the prem, plus the added spice to the rivalry always adds a little extra. But throw in the mix that it’s the Semi-Finals, it’s at home AND there’s a score to settle after we lost to them at last year’s Aviva Premiership Final under a veil of controversy... well quite frankly I’m nearly wetting myself. I just hope that the game lives up to the hype and I think that it will.

Franklins Gardens Kerry LeeseAfter interviewing the squad each week this season for the Saints podcast, I’ve had a glimpse into the team. There’s definitely been a shift this season but most notably in the last few weeks, in what the guys are saying mid week in press conferences, how they’re saying it and how they then follow up at the weekend with a performance that says they’ve really worked hard to improve. I suppose that it’s a self-assurance, a confidence, neither of which are cocky but seem to say “we’re ready for this and we’ll let our game talk”. They’re more composed. And after a rather long stint of being the proverbial bridesmaids, it’s great to see. I think that we’re in with a bleeding good chance.

Kerry Leese Northampton SaintsTrue, we haven’t got the best record against Leicester but I think that we’re on track for the form of our lives. Don’t forget only one of Leicester’s eight Semi-Final wins has been away from home (Gloucester 2008) plus we’ve got that all important 16th player – the home crowd!

We can help to make the difference, Phil Dowson told me on Tuesday (the interview is included in the Saints podcast which is free to listen to/download from SoundCloud). So warm up those vocal cords, get on your green, black and gold and sing your hearts out, if only to drown me out!

The team

So here are the teams announced, what do you reckon? Any head to heads that you’re excited about? I’m not sure where to start but I’m hoping that Mathew Tait is on form (but not that great, I’m still a Saint) as he’s a great player. Gonova is always a delight to watch and I’m really excited about the clash of the centres, some really physical players there. Oh man alive I’m excited!

Aviva Premiership Semi-Final
Franklin’s Gardens
Kick off 7:45pm

Saints

15 Ben FODEN
14 Ken PISI
13 George PISI
12 Luther BURRELL
11 George NORTH
10 Stephen MYLER
9 Kahn FOTUALI’I
1 Alex WALLER
2 Mike HAYWOOD
3 Salesi MA’AFU
4 Samu MANOA
5 Courtney LAWES
6 Tom WOOD
7 Phil DOWSON (capt)
8 Sam DICKINSON

Replacements
16 Ross MCMILLAN
17 Alex CORBISIERO
18 Tom MERCEY
19 Christian DAY
20 Calum CLARK
21 Lee DICKSON
22 James WILSON
23 Tom STEPHENSON

Tigers

15 Mathew Tait
14 Niall Morris
13 Manusamoa Tuilagi
12 Dan Bowden
11 Vereniki Goneva
10 Toby Flood
9 Ben Youngs
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 Tom Youngs
3 Logovi’i Mulipola
4 Louis Deacon
5 Ed Slater (c)
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Julian Salvi
8 Jordan Crane

Replacements

16 Neil Briggs
17 Tom Bristow
18 Fraser Balmain
19 Graham Kitchener
20 Steve Mafi
21 David Mele
22 Owen Williams
23 Adam Thompstone

Corbs demonstrating the #yesmovement

Corbs demonstrating the #yesmovement

And don’t forget to get on the #yesmovement. Alex Corbisiero is a huge wrestling fan and wants the fans to get this chant going around the Gardens. It’s simple and come on, it’s Corbs. I wouldn’t argue with him!

Come On You Saints!

Kerry

 

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About Kerry Leese

20 something who loves to travel from Northampton embarking on a journey of self discovery. Ambitiously working towards a career in broadcasting. In love with her Smelly Boy and getting up to some random stuff.
This entry was posted in Northampton Saints, Rugby union, Sports, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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