Tom Vickers’ Leicester v Saints view: Prepare for fireworks at Welford Road

CATALYST - Calum Clark returns to the Saints side after a 32-week ban and is likely to feel the wrath of the Welford Road faithful
CATALYST - Calum Clark returns to the Saints side after a 32-week ban and is likely to feel the wrath of the Welford Road faithful
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Franklin’s Gardens isn’t the only Premiership rugby ground that will be hosting a fireworks show this weekend.

Welford Road will be the setting for plenty of pyrotechnics on Saturday afternoon as Saints square up to old adversaries Leicester Tigers.

It promises to be more explosive than a night in Mario Balotelli’s bathroom and the presence of Calum Clark is sure to light the blue touch paper.

Clark, back from the 32-week ban he picked up for an unsavoury incident involving Tigers hooker Rob Hawkins during the LV= Cup final in March, starts for Saints.

And the flanker is sure to receive a spiky welcome from the Leicester faithful when he enters the field of play on Saturday.

But it is crucial that he and his Saints team-mates keep their cool in what is likely to be a white-hot atmosphere at Welford Road.

Northampton will be so desperate to take something from the game and their tempers must not become frayed as they look to record their first league win at Leicester since February 2007.

Jim Mallinder, Dorian West and Paul Grayson will be expressing the need for ‘discipline, discipline, discipline’ in their pre-match team talk and it is vital that Saints don’t go a man down at any point.

The inner fire and desire needs to be controlled and ruffling the feathers of the Tigers players will be the best bet in the bid to secure victory.

There hasn’t been too much between the teams this season, with just a point separating fourth-placed Saints from fifth-placed Leicester in the Premiership.

And both have one win from two games in the Heineken Cup.

It should be as tight and tense as ever this weekend, but Saints will hope it is them rocketing up the league table come 4pm on Saturday.