Lam predicting Saints versus Ulster Heineken final

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Pat Lam has tipped Saints and Ulster to meet in this season’s Heineken Cup final.

Lam who skippered Northampton to European glory in 2000 believes the pool 4 rivals will both reach the Dublin showpiece.

Saints face Ulster at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night before travelling to Ravenhill eight days later in what promises to be a decisive double-header.

But Lam thinks his old side and the in-form Irish outfit, who have won all 12 of their games this season, will both make it through to the knockout stages.

And the former back row is tipping them for a reunion when the competition reaches its final stage in May.

Lam told the ERC website: “If I had to pick two I would say Ulster. They’ve got a couple of my ex-players John Afoa and Jared Payne who play there, and an old coaching associate Mark Anscombe is there.

“So Ulster and probably Northampton. That’s where the heart wants to go.”

Lam watched on as Saints surrended a 22-6 half-time lead in the Heineken Cup final two years ago, eventually losing 33-22 to Leinster at Cardiff.

But he believes the current squad are capable of going one step further to taste European glory this time round.

“I still support them,” said the Samoan, who played 54 times for Saints between 1998 and 2001.

“I watched the game against Leinster a couple of years ago and I thought they had it.

“The problem was the team thought they had it until maybe the second half because they were certainly going strong in the first half.

“They’ve certainly got the squad and the players to do it and I’ll certainly be watching them closely.”