Sep 14, 2016
Match Preview: Saracens v Northampton Saints
This Saturday sees Saracens run out at Allianz Park for the first time this season when they take on Northampton Saints.
It’s a big match up for the first game in North London this season as two familiar rivals lock horns in round three of the Aviva Premiership.
After a close opening weekend loss at home to Bath Saints have bounced back with an important bonus point victory away at Bristol last weekend. The victory means the Saints have won their last two games on the road however the Midlands side have not managed to win three in a row away from home since December 2014. Northampton do have a good record at Allianz Park though; they are the only visiting side to have won more than once in North London.
Last Time Out
The last meeting between the two Aviva Premiership sides was in fact a Champions Cup quarter final at Allianz Park in April this year. It was a close affair with Northampton pulling ahead to lead 10-6 at the break. Saracens however dug deep and clawed back to record a 20-29 victory with a try from Chris Ashton ten minutes before time securing the win.
One to Watch
Saints have welcomed Frenchman Louis Picamoles to their squad this season and in doing so have secured the services of one of the biggest names to join the Aviva Premiership this season. Picamoles has spent the last seven years plying his trade for Toulouse, signing for Saints in the aftermath of the 2015 World Cup. Picamoles is a big addition to the Northampton squad and the experienced number 8 has already made his presence felt, featuring in the top 15 stats in four categories – carries (25), metres made (106), offloads (6) and defenders beaten (7).
“Northampton are always a tough team to play. They never give up, they never give you easy points or easy yards, so for us this weekend it’s about being relentless in everything we do. Northampton have got different threats to what Exeter pose but we have to plan for that and see what we can do to negate all those big players, and certain plays that they have, for us to come out on top” – Billy Vunipola
Where to Follow
Live – Allianz Park, kick off 3pm – tickets from www.saracens.com/tickets
Radio – BBC Radio London from 3pm
TV – BT Sport coverage from 3pm
Twitter - @saracens