Nevertheless it is the Saints' first change of competition this season and the first time they have played in the National Trophy. Mallinder believes this change provides a new focus for his players.
"It's always invigorating to change competition," he said. "It is a long league season and the cup gives us something new to concentrate on. Having said that, we couldn't have been given a tougher tie. The Pirates are the holders and won't want to give that up in front of their own supporters. We've played them twice in the league already and I'm expecting another full blooded match and a great atmosphere in Camborne.
"With the Plymouth game a week later we have a very tough two weeks."
There are two changes in the 24-man Saints squad that heads to Cornwall. Barry Everitt and Paul Shields have not recovered from the injuries that saw them leave last week's derby early. They have been replaced by Darren Fox and Joe Gray, who was selected for the England U20 Six Nations training squad yesterday.
Saturday's referee is JP Doyle, who refereed Saints; trip to London Welsh.
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS SQUAD TO PLAY CORNISH PIRATES
EDF Energy National Trophy R4
Camborne Rec; Saturday, January 12th, 2008; kick-off 2pm
Joe Ansbro, Chris Ashton, Jon Clarke, Paul Diggin, James Downey, Johnny Howard, Stephen Myler, Bruce Reihana, Mark Robinson, Carlos Spencer.
Mark Easter, Darren Fox, Joe Gray, Dylan Hartley, Mark Hopley, Phil Hoy, Ben Lewitt, Matt Lord, Euan Murray, Alex Rae, Tom Smith, Barry Stewart, Soane Tonga'uiha, Paul Tupai.
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