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Northampton Saints Return To Heineken Cup Action

Author: Keith Michael Published: 11th January 2013 00:31
James Wilson Returns For The Saints In Their Heineken Cup Clash With CastresJames Wilson Returns For The Saints In Their Heineken Cup Clash With CastresJames Wilson returns to the Saints line up for their must win Heineken Cup clash with Castres. The Kiwi  has been sidelined for three months following a calf problem and returns to replace winger Ken Pisi who has sustained an ankle injury.

Castres will start with Rory Kockott in the scrum-half position. The South African has been out of favour having made it clear he wants to leave the French club to further his international ambitions. Tom Wood and Samu Manoa come back into the Saints' pack replacing Van Velze and Mark Sorenson.

Saints have no illusions as to what is required from them. Currently two points behind Castres and five behind Pool Four leaders Ulster, nothing short of a maximum will do. The home loss to Ulster in December was a blow to the Saints not just for the loss of points but more for the manner of the defeat.

What happened the following week in the return fixture , an epic win in Ulster, should have propelled the Saints into a decent run of form. Instead, a mixed bag of results and performances has followed.

Saints claimed a bonus point when the two sides met in the October fixture in France. Castres running out 21-16 winners in a game that held many frustrations for the Northampton side, not least the exhausting use of Irish referee Alain Rolland's whistle. Northampton will be hoping that Rolland's fellow countryman, George Clancy, will be a little less frustrating Friday evening.
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