Bath Rugby welcome a high-flying Northampton Saints side to the Rec this Saturday. Chris Boyd’s side have won three from their opening three Gallagher Premiership matches this season. We take a closer look at this weekend’s opponents, Northampton Saints.
Ground - Franklin’s Gardens - Capacity: 15,249
Director of Rugby - Chris Boyd
Premiership finish 2018/19 - 4th
Ones to watch
Born in Cambridge, Rory Hutchinson signed for Saints from Shelford and made his debut in 2015. The talented centre enjoyed his first run in Saints’ first-team during the 2016/17 campaign. A versatile back, Hutchinson scored his first try for the Club in his Premiership debut against Exeter Chiefs – a score that would go on to win the Club’s Try of the Season. The centre featured in Saints’ Premiership semi-final against Exeter and was part of the side that lifted the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2019. Hutchinson’s reward for a stellar 2018/19 season was a first call-up into the Scotland senior side that summer ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan, with Hutchinson marking his first international start by scoring twice against Georgia.
James Grayson signed his first senior contract at Saints ahead of the 2019/20 season, after catching the eye as part of the Club’s Senior Academy. A former pupil at Northampton School for Boys and son of Saints legend Paul, fly-half Grayson made his first senior appearance in Black, Green and Gold midway through the 2017/18 campaign, and added ten more appearances that term while scoring 26 points from the tee. But it was under new director of rugby Chris Boyd that Grayson really got his chance; the No.10 made 18 appearances in the 2018/19 season, scoring his first senior try against Bristol Bears in the Premiership Rugby Cup, claiming that competition’s Breakthrough Player award on the way to helping Northampton lift the trophy – the Club’s first silverware in five years
Teimana Harrison was scouted by Dylan Hartley when the England hooker visited his old school in Rotorua during the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Harrison first joined Saints as a member of the Senior Academy in late 2011 and his debut for the first team came against Wasps in 2012. Since his arrival in the East Midlands the dogged and tenacious back row has become one of the Premiership’s most dangerous ball carriers. The 2015/16 season stands as a highlight as his consistently superb performances also earned him a call up to Eddie Jones’ squad for England’s summer tour to Australia. In May 2016, Harrison made his England debut against Wales at Twickenham, before victoriously touring Australia.
Last season’s results against each other
Northampton Saints 27-26 Bath Rugby – Gallagher Premiership
Bath Rugby 17-15 Northampton Saints – Gallagher Premiership
Chris Boyd: ‘The Rec is always a tough place to play, it’s always a bit heavier and a bit slower than most grounds and we like to play across the top of the ground. It’s a big challenge, they have a big forward pack and are a very physical side. They are in a spot where they won’t want to be, so we know that we are in for a real battle’ – NorthamptonSaints.co.uk