London Irish are the visitors to Franklin’s Gardens for the first of what will be four important matches in the context of the campaign.
Saints may be top of the Aviva Premiership standings, but they are separated from Bath by just one try scoring bonus point, with both teams having won 10 and lost three of their 13 games played so far.
The two clubs have virtually identical records in terms of points and tries scored and conceded, and they both have similar numbers of players away on international duty, too.
But before they go head-to-head at the Rec next Saturday there is the small matter of hosting the Exiles this Friday night.
London Irish showed their competitiveness last time out in the Aviva Premiership, Shane Geraghty’s last-minute drop-goal overcoming Exeter 28-26 at the Madejski Stadium. Since then their wins over Grenoble – another thriller settled late in the game – and Rovigo have sealed the Exiles’ home tie in the European Challenge Cup quarter finals, before interim boss Glenn Delaney rotated his squad to freshen things up in the LV= Cup.
With experienced players like Geraghty, former Munster and Ireland scrum-half Tomas O’Leary, and Samoa lock Dan Leo combining with youngsters such as wing Alex Lewington and full back Tom Homer, the Exiles have players who can threaten the Saints given the opportunity.
But Saints welcome Christian Day and Stephen Myler back into the squad this week after two weeks’ training with England, and have the likes of Samu Manoa, Lee Dickson and Alex Waller available, too.
So your support will count – make sure you’re in the stands and getting behind the team this Friday night! The game is not live on TV, so the only way to see the action is in the flesh at Franklin’s Gardens; head to www.tinyurl.com/SAI-IRI-1415 to book online throughout the week. Use [email protected] to save the admin fees and beat the match day queues!