- England stars help Northampton Saints book Heineken Cup last four place
- Steve Thompson try sees Leeds Carnegie off the foot of Aviva Premiership
Photo: Getty Images
A quintet of England stars helped Northampton Saints to a Heineken Cup semi final after defeating Ulster 23-13 at stadium:mk on Sunday.
Wing Chris Ashton and full back Ben Foden produced a scintillating move from their own half to create the crucial second try for scrum half Lee Dickson, which added to Soane Tonga'uiha ’s first half try and 13 points from England Saxons No.10 Stephen Myler.
Hooker Dylan Hartley, lock Courtney Lawes and flanker Tom Wood started for the Saints, with French giants Perpignan – who defeated Toulon 29-25 despite 10 points from England fly half Jonny Wilkinson – up next at stadium:mk on May 1 for a place in the final.
Leinster will face Toulouse in the other semi final after Leicester Tigers’ England contingent endured another disappointing visit to the Aviva Stadium, going down 17-10.
Half back paring Ben Youngs and Toby Flood, prop Dan Cole, lock Louis Deacon and flanker Tom Croft all returned to Dublin just three weeks after their Grand Slam frustration and were powerless to come back from full back Isa Nacewa’s superb try.
England scrum half Danny Care scored a try as Harlequins defeated London Wasps 32-22 at the Twickenham Stoop to advance to the semi finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Nick Evans kicked 22 points to add to Care and Maurice Fa'asavalu’s early tries, with England No.8 Nick Easter also to the fore in the pulsating encounter.
Internationals Riki Flutey, Joe Simpson, Tim Payne and Simon Shaw started, while England Under 20 players Christian Wade, Joe Launchbury – from the start – and Sam Jones got some first team game time.
Hodgson reaches points milestone in Sale victory
Photo: Getty Images
In the Aviva Premiership, England hooker Steve Thompson scored a try as Leeds Carnegie squeaked past Newcastle Falcons 30-29, leapfrogging the Falcons and leaving them at the foot of the table.
Flanker Hendre Fouire also started but fly half Adrian Jarvis was the hero, slotting two late drop goals to end with 15 points.
Sale Sharks moved closer to survival with a 36-31 win over third placed Gloucester Rugby, with England fly half Charlie Hodgson scoring 21 points and passing 1,000 for his career in the process.
His haul included a superb second-half try, while prop Paul Doran-Jones started for the visitors.
England back Matt Banahan scored a typically powerful try as Bath Rugby defeated Exeter Chiefs 26-18 at the Rec, breaking a run of three straight defeats and keeping hopes alive of a top six finish to the season.
Shontayne Hape started at 13 as the home side overturned Exeter’s fast start with second-half tries from Matt Carraro and Michael Claassens.
You can see all the results and view the Aviva Premiership league table on RFU.com.