Sep 01, 2017
Match Preview: London Double Header
The first weekend of the new season is just around the corner and for Saracens that means a trip to Twickenham to face Northampton Saints in the London Double Header on Saturday, kick off 14H00.
After a mixed season which saw the 2013/14 Aviva Premiership champions finish in seventh place, and outside the automatic qualification places for the Champions Cup, Northampton Saints are looking to shake things up this season. The off-season saw Saints make seven new signings while 14 players departed Franklins Gardens, including the likes of Lee Dickson, George Pisi, Ethan Waller and Louis Picamoles.
Last time out
Saracens last faced Saints in the second half of last season with the sides going head to head at StadiumM. It was a close contest with a late Marcelo Bosch try giving Sarries the win as they came from behind to secure the win.
One to watch – Dylan Hartley
In a season where Saints will be looking to re-establish themselves as top four contenders the role of Hartley should not be underestimated. Since Saints were promoted to the Premiership in 2008 they have won 65% of games with Hartley in the side compared to 56% without. This season the 31 year old hooker has been re-appointed as captain of the side after a two year break and his form is likely to play a key role in his side's fortunes.
“Obviously, the rivalry between the two clubs is well documented. There is no love lost. They will come and be unbelievably physical as a team. We know it’s going to be a test against such a good outfit.” – Nathan Earle
Saints’ Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder told the Saints website "We're excited. We understand the challenges involved with playing Saracens, they're a great team and they're going to be very, very tough to beat but we've got to go out there and be positive and play some rugby against them.”
Saracens have not lost in the London Double Header since 2011
Where to Follow
TV – Live on BT Sport
Twitter - @saracens for live match commentary
Radio – BBC Radio London
Instagram - @saracensofficial
Facebook - @saracensofficial