PREVIEW: Gloucester Vs Northampton Saints

By Thomas Branston

Louis Picamoles stretches for the line

Jim Mallinder’s men travel to Gloucester in a new years day clash at Kingsholm on Sunday looking to make it two wins from two in the Aviva Premiership.

Northampton dominated in a comprehensive 24-5 win over Sale Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens last Friday evening.

Whilst Gloucester narrowly missed out in a 28-24 defeat against Harlequins in big game number nine at Twickenham Stadium on Tuesday.

With the results, Northampton sit just above Gloucester in eighth place whilst the cherry and white’s are in ninth with both sides on 24 points. Gloucester are one place below Northampton because they have won fewer games.

Last time out, Northampton left it late beating Gloucester 23-20 in the reverse fixture at Franklin’s Gardens.

Tries from Louis Picamoles and Tom Kessell accompanied with three Myler penalties and two successful conversions were enough to seal victory.

Saints make one change with George North returning from a head injury, he replaces Juan Pablo Estelles in the side and Harry Mallinder is named on the bench.

Gloucester make eight changes, with the game coming just five days after their defeat at Harlequins in a short turn around.

Greig Laidlaw and back row Ross Moriarty are among those rested, while Andrew Symons makes his full debut for the cherry and white’s.

Winger Charlie Sharples will miss out for the hosts with a knee injury, while Salesi Ma’afu starts in the front row against one of his former clubs.

Gloucester: Hook; Halaifonua, Symons, Twelvetrees, May; Burns, Heinz (c), Hohneck, Hibbard, Ma’afu, Savage, Thrush, Ludlow, Kvesic, Morgan.

Replacements: Matu’u, McAllister, Afoa, Galarza, Moriarty, Laidlaw, Scott, Purdy

Northampton: Foden; Pisi, Burrell, Hanrahan, North, Myler, Groom; Waller, Haywood, Brookes, Lawes, Day, Wood (c), Harrison, Picamoles.

Replacements: Clare, Waller, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Kessell, Mallinder, Estelles.

Stephen Myler makes Saints milestone

Saints fly half Stephen Myler will make his 300th club appearance for Northampton Saints when he runs out with the side on Sunday at Kingsholm.

The 32 year-old celebrates the milestone in his tenth season with the club, overseeing the highs and lows of professional rugby in his time at Saints.

He was part of the side that got relegated from the Premiership in 2007, however, he has won the Aviva Premiership in 2014, several European Rugby Challenge Cups and an Anglo-Welsh Cup as well as playing in other finals.


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