4 to watch – Northampton Saints

30 March 2012

On Saturday 31st March, Bath Rugby take on Northampton Saints in Round 19 of the Aviva Premiership, kick off 5:30pm.

Here is a quick introduction to Saturday's opponents.

Ground – Franklins Gardens (13,591)

Founded - 1880

Club Captain – Dylan Hartley                       

Coach – Jim Mallinder

Current position in the Aviva Premiership – 4th (52 points)

4 to watch:

Lee Dickson

'England international' seemed to be two words that were going to be elusive when describing Lee Dickson. But 10 weeks ago the scrum-half was included in Stuart Lancaster's Elite Player Squad, and by the end of the Six Nations he had established himself as the starting nine in the national shirt.

It was the next step in the former Falcon's career, which took in a Grand Slam with England U21, the Churchill Cup title with England Saxons, and European Challenge Cup and LV= Cup titles with the Saints, not forgetting last year's Heineken Cup final of course! 

James Downey

James Downey is the Mr Consistent of the Saints midfield. He came as something of an unheralded signing in the summer of 2007, but since then he has made the inside centre position his own, and last season passed the 100-appearance mark.

He is certainly getting better all the time, and his superb defence and strong running abilities are now being supplemented by some soft handling that brings the support runners into play on a regular basis.

George Pisi

Regardless of who he has partnered in the centre, or had playing outside him at full back and on the wing, George Pisi has got better and better with every game in the black, green and gold.

The Samoan arrived at Franklin's Gardens after the World Cup, but in the latter half of last season he was tearing it up for Clermont Auvergne in the Top 14. Pisi was at Stade Marcel Michelin as a medical joker before returning back to New Zealand to play for Taranaki in the ITM Cup.

Christian Day

Christian Day is one of the unheralded members of the Saints pack. This in itself is unsurprising when his colleagues include England regulars and repeated members of the Premiership Rugby Dream Team.

However the lock is a key member of the group. As a lineout forward par excellence he has helped the Saints' set piece to become the best in the league, and as part of the engine room he provides the grunt in one of the most feared scrums in Europe. Day is not bad around the park either!

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