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London Irish Team news ahead of Northampton Saints Clash

22 December 2004

22 December 2004
London Irish Team for Zurich Premiership Home Match against Northampton Saints on Monday, 27th December 2004

Team News
There are two changes to the starting line-up of the team that played Worcester in the Powergen Cup last Saturday.  In the backs Paul Sackey replaces Justin Bishop on the right wing. Among the forwards Roland Reid starts at No 8.  Kieron Dawson continues as captain.

Paul Sackey returns after missing last Saturday's cup game with an injured ankle. Roland Reid retains the No 8 position after a fine second half performance in Worcester. Unavailable through injury are: Adrian Flavin (neck), Neal Hatley (hand), Phil Murphy (ankle), Peter Poulos (knee) and Richard Skuse (neck).

Advance ticket sales for Monday's game have been most encouraging.  Already the East and West stands are sold out and the South stand is selling well.  Last season's Christmas holiday fixture attracted a crowd of over 20,000 and London Irish would like to repeat that!  The Stadium has a capacity of 24,000 so there is plenty of seating available!  The club's "kids go free" offer is proving very popular with families.  As last year the club is asking all those coming to the game to get there in good time.

Commenting on the prospects for Monday's match, Head Coach, Gary Gold said: "This will be our first Premiership game for three weeks and they don't come more difficult.  We have prepared well and are able to field a good team.  Northampton have quality players in all positions and are discovering their true form.  Having beaten them at Franklin's Gardens I have no doubt that they will want to restore the balance on Monday.  With 20,000 people cheering us on we are determined to turn in a good performance!"

Team:
15. Michael Horak*;
14. Paul Sackey;
13. Geoff Appleford*;
12. Mike Catt*;
11. Scott Staniforth*;
10. Mark Mapletoft*; 
9. Paul Hodgson; 
1. Doug Wheatley; 
2. Robbie Russell*;
3. Rob Hardwick*; 
4. Nick Kennedy;
5. Bob Casey*;
6. Declan Danaher; 
7. Kieron Dawson* (captain); 
8. Roland Reid*.
Replacements:
16. Pierre Durant; 
17. David Paice;
18. Ryan Strudwick;
19. Paul Gustard; 
20. Nils Mordt; 
21. Darren Edwards; 
22. Barry Everitt.

*Denotes International
Head Coach: Gary Gold 
Senior Coach (Backs): Paul Hull