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Team News ahead of Northampton Saints vs London Wasps

30 September 2004

Northampton Saints' Team News
Northampton Saints' head coach Alan Solomons has made four changes to the starting XV that were beaten by East Midlands rivals Leicester Tigers last weekend.

In preparation for the visit of Zurich Premiership and Heineken Cup champions London Wasps on Saturday, Solomons has reinstated fit again Mark Robinson and moved Ben Cohen, Damien Browne and Grant Seely to the bench. Wylie Human, Matt Lord and Andrew Blowers take their places respectively.

Solomons said: "Ben has struggled a bit for form over the last two games. He agrees that in these particular circumstances he should drop down to the bench. He is determined to put matters right. Ben has shown in the past that he is a strong player and I have no doubt he will come out of this slump.

"Players suffer slumps in all sports, such as Tiger Woods and Serena Williams - it is just the nature of the beast."

Solomons added: "The No 8 issue is something I have wanted to look at for a while. Andrew Blowers offers something different to what Grant Seely offers. This is an opportune time to look at that."

Prop Robbie Morris also returns from injury to the bench for this sell-out match after successfully running out for the Wanderers on Monday night.

Saturday will mark Matt Dawson's return to Franklin's Gardens since he signed to Wasps in the close season. His last game at his former home ground was in the centre against Bath on April 17. His last game at scrum-half at Franklin's Gardens was against Rotherham on February 7.

Saturday's Zurich Premiership round five game kicks off at 3pm.
14 John Rudd
13 Mark Tucker
12 Marc Stcherbina
11 Wylie Human
10 Shane Drahm
5 Matt Lord
6 Darren Fox
7 CORNE KRIGE (capt)

16 Dan Richmond
18 Damien Browne
19 Grant Seely
20 Johnny Howard
22 John Clarke
International players in capital letters

London Wasps Team News
Dawson - Ready for the return to Franklin's Gardens
London Wasps have named their side for Saturday's Zurich Premiership clash against Northampton Saints, kick-off 3pm. Warren Gatland's team go into the match depleted of a number of stars but confident after two successive wins.

Gatland said, "Saints are a tough side to beat and we've lost our last three league games at Franklin's Gardens. We also have a long injury list, but I'm confident our squad can get us through this difficult time and this game. We 've played well at periods during the last two games but we must sustain that for the whole of Saturday.

"I've kept the pack pretty much the same expect that Lawrence will start at No.8 and Joe will switch back to flank. In the backline, Peter Richards moves to No.13 with Rob Hoadley getting his first start at No.12.

"We've had a good training week, expect for the injuries to Matt Priscott, George Skivington and Ayoola Erinle. Matt hurt his shoulder during training on Thursday while George broke his hand during Monday night's Zurich A league game. Erinle strained his knee during the win over London Irish and will miss this game.

"Tom Voyce also picked up a slight groin strain on Tuesday and will undergo a fitness test on Saturday morning. However, I think he will be okay. Michael Roberts will, therefore, start on the wing. He scored two tries on Monday night, so deserves a run."

Trevor Leota also makes a return to the squad. He replaces Ben Gotting who sprained his foot and should be out for 2 weeks. New signing, Edd Thrower starts on the bench.

The current injury list reads: Stuart Abbott (Shoulder) Craig Dowd (Achilles) Ayoola Erinle (Knee) Ben Gotting (Ankle) Will Green (Shoulder) Rob Howley (Wrist) Josh Lewsey (Hand) Matt Priscott (Shoulder) Martin Purdy (Shoulder) Simon Shaw (Neck) George Skivington (Hand) Fraser Waters (Ankle)

The team is �

15 Mark Van Gisbergen
14 Michael Roberts
13 Peter Richards
12 Rob Hoadley
11 Tom Voyce
10 Alex King
9 Matt Dawson

1 Alistair McKenzie
2 Phil Greening
3 Tim Payne
4 John Hart
5 Richard Birkett
6 Joe Worsley
7 Jonny O'Connor
8 Lawrence Dallaglio (Capt)

16 Trevor Leota
17 Henry Nwume
18 Mark Lock
19 James Haskell
20 Harvey Biljon
21 Edd Thrower
22 James Brooks


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