Clark the skipper as young guns get their Saints chance

FIRST TEAM CHANCE - Tom Stephenson (Picture: Linda Dawson)
FIRST TEAM CHANCE - Tom Stephenson (Picture: Linda Dawson)
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Calum Clark will captain a young Saints side in their LV= Cup clash with Harlequins at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday (ko 1pm).

The team for the Quins clash includes one debutant from the Senior Academy in the shape of centre Tom Stephenson, with a potential five more on the bench

Props Ethan Waller and Danny Herriott have been named on the bench, along with scrum-half Alex Day and outside backs Anders Mogensen and Tom Collins.

All five have played important roles in the Wanderers’ run to the Aviva A League semi-finals and Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder believes that they have the talent to transfer this form to the first team.

There is no place in the matchday 23 for either Lee Dickson or Phil Dowson, the pair being rested despite being relased from the England squad earlier in the week

“We have been impressed by the Senior Academy youngsters in training and in the Aviva A League,” said Mallinder.

“The LV= Cup gives us a perfect opportunity to see if they can take a step up in intensity and competitiveness, as well as giving much needed game time for first team squad members.

“We believe that the team which has been named has the ability to get a good result against Harlequins tomorrow.

“We’ve got two weeks until our next Aviva Premiership match and places in the first team are up for grabs.

“Everyone in the squad is aware of that and it hopefully will be good motivation for them.

“Tomorrow will be a difficult match, we know that. Over the past few years Harlequins have put together a squad which has plenty of depth in all positions and whoever they name in their team will be very competitive.

“However we have a record of success in this competition and we want this to continue.”

Tickets are still available for Saturday’s game, with supporters able to save money on their seat and raise cash for charity just by watching rugby. More information is available via www.northamptonsaints.co.uk/tickets

Tomorrow’s game will also be preceded by a minute’s applause to commemorate the recent tragic passing of Nigel Fox, who played 274 times for the club between 1973 and 1990.

This will happen before the teams run out, with the traditional Remembrance Day minute’s silence and wreath laying taking place immediately before kick off.

The Saints’ management will therefore appreciate that all supporters are in their places no later than 12:45pm.

Saints team: Tom May; Scott Armstrong, Tom Stephenson, Luther Burrell, Jamie Elliott; Ryan Lamb, Martin Roberts, Alex Waller, Mike Haywood, Paul Doran-Jones, Mark Sorenson, Rhys Oakley, Calum Clark, Ben Nutley, GJ Van Velze.

Replacements: Ross McMillan, Ethan Waller, Danny Herriott, Christian Day, Teimana Harrison, Alex Day, Anders Mogenson, Tom Collins