Alex Corbisiero, George North and Sam Dickinson - all making their competitve debuts tomorrow © Getty Images / www.atsportphoto.com
Rugby News, Team News Trio of debutants as Saints open campaign at home
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder has named three debutants in the Northampton Saints team which takes on Exeter Chiefs in the opening round of the 2013/14 Aviva Premiership.
The Saints host Exeter tomorrow afternoon, with Alex Corbisiero and George North both making their first competitive start in the black, green and gold. The third debutant is Sam Dickinson, whose first season was ruined by injury but who has impressed during the pre-season friendlies.
Dickinson signed for the Saints in early 2012 from Rotherham, but sustained an arm injury in the Titans’ Championship play-offs campaign which ruled him out of contention until early 2013. He spent the final few weeks of 2012/13 in Moseley’s colours as a dual registered player, while also playing for the Northampton second team.
The 28-year-old number eight has played in all four of the Saints’ pre-season matches, and led the side for the away game at Moseley.
There could also be debuts for scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i and prop Gareth Denman, who are both named on the bench.
Corbisiero and North have both attracted the majority of the headlines this summer, but Mallinder says he is particularly delighted for Dickinson.
“Sam had a frustrating first year with us, so I’m very happy that he’s now in a position where he is ready to play for the first team,” Mallinder commented. “He is a talented and committed player who has shown his qualities during the pre-season, and he’s very keen to take that forward in the Aviva Premiership.
“There’s been a lot of competition for places for tomorrow’s game, and there were plenty of disappointed players when the team was announced. So it’s important that the 23 who we’ve selected show why they deserve their place in the match day squad and put in a good performance against Exeter.”
Tickets remain available for tomorrow’s game, with prices starting at £18. It is a rare non-televised game for the Saints, so the only way to see the action live is in the flesh at Franklin’s Gardens! To book just CLICK HERE and follow the straightforward instructions!
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS TEAM TO PLAY EXETER
Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 1
Saturday, September 5th, 2013
Kick off 3:00pm
15 Ben FODEN
14 Ken PISI
13 George PISI
12 Luther BURRELL
11 George NORTH
10 Stephen MYLER
9 Lee DICKSON
1 Alex CORBISIERO
2 Dylan HARTLEY (capt)
3 Tom MERCEY
4 Courtney LAWES
5 Christian DAY
6 Tom WOOD
7 Phil DOWSON
8 Sam DICKINSON
16 Mike HAYWOOD
17 Alex WALLER
18 Gareth DENMAN
19 Samu MANOA
20 Calum CLARK
21 Kahn FOTUALI’I
22 James WILSON
23 Jamie ELLIOTT