Wednesday 7 December 2016

Saints bid to end tigers' reign

Published 14/05/2011 | 05:00

Northampton will aim to end Leicester's reign as English Premiership champions today and keep alive their own hopes of a first domestic and European double.

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The fierce rivals square up at Welford Road, where Leicester play their fifth home Premiership semi-final in seven seasons.

While Tigers are two wins away from completing a Premiership title hat-trick, Saints have never reached the final from three attempts.

The winners face Saracens or Gloucester on May 28.

"It is going to be a massive game," said Northampton boss Jim Mallinder.

"Leicester are a physical and direct side who have had a lot of success this season, and they have deservedly finished top of the table at the end of the 22 rounds.

"They are also the reigning champions and know what it takes to win at this stage of the season.

"But while we know the size of the challenge, we are not going to Welford Road just to make up the numbers."

Mallinder, whose team will contest the Heineken Cup final against Leinster in Cardiff next Saturday, has made one change from the side that accounted for European semi-final opponents Perpignan 12 days ago, with Bruce Reihana replacing wing Paul Diggin.

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Irish Independent

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