Foden to skipper Saints as they head to Exeter

SANDY PARK DATE - Ben Foden (Picture: Linda Dawson)
SANDY PARK DATE - Ben Foden (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Full-back Ben Foden will captain Saints in their final LV= Cup group clash at Exeter on Saturday evening (ko 6.30pm).

But Foden’s fellow England reject Lee Dickson has only been named on the replacements’ bench, with Martin Roberts getting the nod at scrum-half.

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder has named a strong side for the game, and a bench that is even stronger as it includes the likes of Soane Tonga’uiha, Dickson, Phil Dowson, Stephen Myler and Samu Manoa.

Saints top Pool 4 going into the final round of round-robin matches, with qualification for the semi-finals still in their own hands.

But Mallinder has warned his team that it is going to take a top performance from the Saints to keep the momentum going.

“We’ve worked hard to get into this position, and we know that our future in the competition is in our own hands,” he said.

“But we also know that we will be up against a tough Exeter team.

“Exeter play an expansive style of rugby and like to get their wide runners into play as much as possible.

But they also have some strong forwards who can get them onto the front foot, and we will have to be alert in every area of the field.

“We had to be at our very best in the Premiership there at the start of January and will need a similar performance again this weekend.

“We’re certainly not taking anything for granted.”

Saints team to play Exeter, LV= Cup, Sandy Park, Saturday, February 2, 2013, Kick off 6.30pm: Ben Foden; James Wilson, Dom Waldouck, Luther Burrell, Jamie Elliott; Ryan Lamb, Martin Roberts; Alex Waller, Mike Haywood, Tom Mercey, Mark Sorenson, Christian Day, James Craig, Ben Nutley, GJ van Velze. Replacements: Ross McMillan, Soane Tonga’uiha, Ethan Waller, Samu Manoa, Phil Dowson, Lee Dickson, Stephen Myler, Tom May