Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors: Tom Vickers' match preview

Ben Foden will be making his 250th and final Saints appearance on Saturday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Ben Foden will be making his 250th and final Saints appearance on Saturday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Fixture: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Competition: Aviva Premiership (round 22)

Venue: Franklin's Gardens

Date and kick-off time: Saturday, May 5, 2018, 4pm

Television coverage: None

Saints: Foden (c); Collins, Tuitavake, Francis, North; Grayson, Reinach; Waller, Haywood, Brookes; Ratuniyarawa, Craig; Gibson, Harrison, Eadie.

Replacements: Clare, Ma'afu, Hill, Ribbans, Ludlam, Mitchell, Myler, Tuala.

Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Humphreys, Te'o, Butler, Adams; Jones, Hougaard; Bower, Singleton, Schonert; Bresler, Barry; Mama, Lewis, van Velze (c).

Replacements: Taufete'e, Waller, Milasinovich, Kitchener, Denton, Arr, Shillcock, Howe.

Outs: Saints: Tom Wood (groin), Courtney Lawes (knee), Dylan Hartley (concussion), Harry Mallinder (illness), Christian Day (shoulder), Heinrich Brüssow (hamstring), Reece Marshall, Luther Burrell

Referee: Luke Pearce (76th Premiership game)

Most recent meeting: Saturday, November 18, 2017: Worcester Warriors 30 Saints 15 (Aviva Premiership)

Tom's preview: There is unlikely to be a dry eye in the house after Saturday's game at Franklin's Gardens is finished.

A group of players who have accomplished so much in the black, green and gold (and assorted Northampton away shirts) will sign off for the final time.

How strange it will be to see Saints strutting their stuff next season with the likes of Stephen Myler and Ben Foden not part of the squad.

But with new boss Chris Boyd arriving this summer, the time is right for change.

Saints have not won a trophy since the sensational double-winning season of 2013/14.

Myler, Foden, Christian Day and Co played key roles in those stunning successes, but now they will step aside to let the next generation try to emulate them.

Saturday's game against Worcester will provide a final chance for six of the current squad to strut their stuff at the Gardens, while the other 11 leavers will watch on.

But after the game, Saints will say goodbye to each and every one of them in what is sure to be the most emotional shirt presentation ceremony seen in Northampton.

First, the players who have the honour of making the 23 on the final day will look to do themselves justice.

There hasn't been too much to smile about at the Gardens during a difficult campaign, but a win against Worcester would provide reason for cheer.

Saints have been desperate to see the back of this season for many months now and they will want to write a positive final chapter in a sobering story.

That is the least the likes of Foden and Myler deserve.

They helped to build a winning mentality at Saints and they certainly deserve to finish their lengthy stays at the club with a victory to remember.

Tom's prediction: Saints 32 Worcester 20