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DISAPPOINTED - Saints skipper Dylan Hartley

Skipper Hartley says Saints have to ‘step it up’ in Europe

Dylan Hartley has urged Saints to ‘step it up’ as they bid to put Saturday’s Champions Cup disappointment behind them.

BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW - Tom Wood was unhappy as Saints failed to even win a bonus point in France

Wood admits Saints were taught a ‘cruel lesson’ in painful loss to Racing Metro

Tom Wood admitted Saints were taught a ‘cruel lesson’ as they surrendered their chance to take anything from Saturday’s Champions Cup opener at Racing Metro.

COSTLY ERROR - Saints full-back Ben Foden

Tom Vickers’ Racing Metro versus Northampton Saints view and player ratings

There was a palpable sense of déjà vu as Saints headed off the rapidly-invaded playing surface at Stade Yves du Manoir on Saturday evening.

INJURY BLOW - Saints centre George Pisi

Mallinder confirms Pisi pulled hamstring in bizarre incident during defeat in Paris

Jim Mallinder confirmed George Pisi pulled his hamstring in a bizarre incident in Saturday’s Champions Cup defeat to Racing Metro.

Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder

Saints ‘not down and out’ despite Euro setback

Jim Mallinder stressed Saints are ‘not down and out’ after suffering a 20-11 defeat in their opening Champions Cup match at Racing Metro.

Saints were robbed of a bonus point when Ben Foden's kick was charged down, leading to a Marc Andreu try

Last-gasp try denies Saints a losing bonus point

A last-gasp Marc Andreu try helped rob Saints of a bonus point as Racing Metro claimed a 20-11 win in the Champions Cup opener in Colombes.

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Saints forwards coach Dorian West

West believes Saints are in great shape ahead of Paris match

Dorian West admits Saints have never started a European campaign in such a strong position.

SO CLOSE - Saints were beaten in the 2011 European Cup Final, and coach Dorian West would love the team to go one better this season

West says success in Europe is ‘the next step’ for Saints

Dorian West says being successful in this season’s Rugby Champions Cup is ‘the next step’ for Saints.

FAMILIAR FACE - former Saints prop Brian Mujati starts for Racing Metro on Saturday

Tom Vickers’ Racing Metro v Northampton Saints preview

Fixture: Racing Metro v Northampton Saints (European Rugby Champions Cup, game one)

BACK IN THE STARTING LINE-UP - Saints winger George North

Four changes as Saints gear up for French test

Saints have made four changes to the team for Saturday’s European Champions Cup clash against Racing Metro in Paris, with big guns Dylan Hartley, George North, Kahn Fotuali’i and Calum Clark all returning to the starting line-up.


Wood backing Saints to carry domestic form on to European stage

Tom Wood feels Saints are more than capable of enjoying as much success in Europe as they have on the domestic front of late.

Former team-mates Brian Mujati and Dylan Hartley are set to go head to head this weekend (picture: Linda Dawson)

Hartley ready for head-to-head battle with old pal Mujati

Dylan Hartley and Brian Mujati were once part of one of the most fearsome front rows in European rugby history.

TOUGH TO TAKE - Leinster were big winners at Franklin's Gardens last December (Picture: Linda Dawson)

West feels Saints have learned from European losses

Dorian West is hoping Saints have learned the lessons from last season’s Heineken Cup disappoitment as they return to Europe’s top table this weekend.

BIG REUNION - Brian Mujati could line up against his former team-mates on Saturday (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Popular prop Mujati relishing Saints reunion

Former Saints star Brian Mujati is looking forward to facing his old club on Saturday, but admits it will be a ‘weird’ experience.

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KEY MAN - Samu Manoa (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

Manoa’s flexibility a massive plus for Saints boss Mallinder

Jim Mallinder does not feel Samu Manoa has a best position at Saints, stressing the American forward is ‘fantastic’ wherever he plays.

POWER PLAY - Racing Metro skipper Dimitri Szarzewski was impressed with Saints' demoliton of Sale Sharks at the weekend (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

Skipper Szarzewski pleased that Racing host Saints first up

Racing Metro skipper Dimitri Szarzewski believes Saints are one of the favourites to win this season’s Rugby Champions Cup.

FAMILIAR FACE - former Leinster fly-half Jonny Sexton is a member of the Racing Metro squad

Racing Metro coach Labit says Saints clash is ‘almost like a last 16 game’

Racing Metro 92 coach Laurent Labit says Saturday’s Rugby Champions Cup opener against Saints is ‘almost like a last 16 game’.

BACK TO HIS BEST - Saints full-back Ben Foden was in top form for Saints against Sale on Saturday (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

Mallinder says Foden form has given England coach Lancaster a full-back headache

Jim Mallinder believes in-form Ben Foden is capable of giving England boss Stuart Lancaster a selection headache this autumn.

STAR TURN - Ken Pisi celebrates his try against Sale with Jamie Elliott (left) and Tm Wood (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

‘Awesome’ competition is the key to success says Saints winger Pisi

Ken Pisi says the strength of Saints’ wing department is driving him on to big things this season.

BRILLIANT BROTHERS - Ken and George Pisi were in stunning form for Saints in Saturday's win over Sale Sharks (Pictures: Sharon Lucey)

Tom Vickers’ Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks view and player ratings

If there is a fly which resides on a wall in the away dressing room at Franklin’s Gardens, it will not be enjoying a quiet life.

George Pisi goes over for his try in the thrashing of Sale at Franklin's Gardens (pictures: Sharon Lucey)

Manoa scores hat-trick as Saints shatter Sale

Samu Manoa scored a hat-trick as Saints sunk Sale Sharks 43-10 with another unstoppable Aviva Premiership performance at Franklin’s Gardens.

Saints celebrate one of their six tries against Sale at Franklin's Gardens (pictures: Sharon Lucey)

Saints in great shape ahead of Euro assault

Jim Mallinder admits Saints are where they want to be as they prepare to put the Aviva Premiership on the back-burner and go in pursuit of success in Europe.

NOT GETTING CARRIED AWAY - Saints attack coach Alex King

King: Premiership table means nothing until halfway point

Alex King is reading little into Saints’ current lofty standing in the Aviva Premiership - and says it will take 11 games for the table to be a true reflection of where teams are at.

RED ROSE DAYS - Ben Foden in action for England against France in 2012

Saints full-back Foden is setting his sights on England

At times, Ben Foden’s midweek media session felt strikingly similar to a job interview.

TOUGH AFTERNOON - Saints were second best to Sale on their most recent meeting in March

Tom Vickers’ Northampton Saints versus Sale Sharks preview

Fixture: Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks (Aviva Premiership round six)

WINGING IT - Jamie Elliott returns to the Saints starting line-up for the visit of Sale Sharks, with George North dropping to the bench

Wood, Hartley and Elliott return for Saints as Sale come to town

England duo Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley return to the Saints squad for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership with Sale Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 3.15pm).

SAMOA CALL - George Pisi, along with brother Ken and Kahn Fotuali'i, has been named in the Samoa squad for their November international matches

Pisi brothers and Fotuali’i named in Samoa squad for November internationals

The Pisi brothers and Kahn Fotuali’i are on course for an autumn collision with England after being named in the Samoa squad for the upcoming November internationals.

CONFIDENT - Saints full-back Ben Foden (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Foden wants to show Sale Sharks why Franklin’s Gardens is a fortress

Ben Foden wants Saints to show Sale Sharks just why Franklin’s Gardens has become such a fortress when the two sides square up on Saturday.

The new Tetley's Carlsberg Suite at Franklin's Gardens

Win a pair of Carlsberg Lounge hospitality tickets to watch Saints v Sale Sharks

The Chronicle & Echo have teamed up with Tetley’s to offer a lucky reader the chance to watch Saints take on Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership this Saturday - and also enjoy some brilliant hospitality in the new Carlsberg Lounge at Franklin’s Gardens.

NEW DAWN - George North represented Saints at the launch of the new European competitions aat Twickenham yesterday

Mallinder setting sights on European glory with Saints

Jim Mallinder says Saints will place a huge emphasis on Europe as they bid to become the first winners of the Rugby Champions Cup.

Jim Mallinder

Mallinder not worried about losing fans to Coventry-bound Wasps

Saints boss Jim Mallinder admits it will be interesting to see how Wasps’ move to Coventry works - but is not worried about losing fans to the nomadic club.


Wasps will stage their first game at their new home in Coventry against Castres or London Irish in December

Saints issue statement on Wasps’ switch to Coventry

Saints have moved to allay fears about the effect Wasps’ switch to Coventry will have on the Franklin’s Gardens club.

ENGLAND CALLING? - Stephen Myler would love the chance to show what he can in an England shirt

Saints star Myler desperate to show what he can do for England

In-form Saints fly-half Stephen Myler is ‘craving’ the chance to show what he can do for England.

ON THE SCORESHEET - Howard Packman (Picture: Dave Ikin)

Wanderers beaten by brave Bristol United

A brave display from Bristol United saw the Wanderers suffer a shock 31-27 Aviva ‘A’ League defeat at Franklin’s Gardens on Monday night.

London Irish v Northampton Saints. NNL-140410-172608005

Mallinder believes Saints centre Burrell is revelling in England selection pressure

Jim Mallinder says Luther Burrell is revelling in the battle to claim a central role for England this autumn.

SOLID STUFF - Stephen Myler and Courtney Lawes team up to make a tackle in the win over London Irish  (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Myler says there is plenty of room for Saints improvement

Stephen Myler has stressed Saints still have plenty of improving to do after going top of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.

EXPECTING REINFORCEMENTS - Jim Mallinder believes Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley will be back for Saints next weekend

Saints boss Mallinder expects Wood and Hartley to return for Sale clash

Jim Mallinder is expecting England duo Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley to return to action against Sale Sharks next weekend.

OUTSTANDING - George Pisi was the Saints' star man in the win at London Irish (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Tom Vickers’ London Irish v Northampton Saints view and player ratings

Saints may have been shorn of captains at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, but they certainly weren’t short of leaders.

TESTING TIME - London Irish pushed Saints all the way on Saturday (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Boss Smith proud of Irish performance in defeat to Saints

London Irish boss Brian Smith feels his side earned the respect of Saints in Saturday’s defeat at the Madejski Stadium.

George North goes on the charge at the Madejski Stadium (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Mallinder delighted as Saints hit summit

Jim Mallinder praised Saints’ ‘outstanding’ defence after the gritty 19-12 success at London Irish.

Stephen Myler kicked 14 points in Saints' win at London Irish (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Myler leads stubborn Saints to victory at Irish

Stephen Myler won the battle of the boots with former team-mate Shane Geraghty as Saints secured a fine 19-12 Aviva Premiership victory at London Irish.

SECOND BEST - Saints were beaten at Wasps in their next game after at impressive Franklin's Gardens win over Gloucester

Saints coach Mallinder warns against complacency at London Irish

Jim Mallinder has urged his Saints players to avoid suffering another big fall when they face London Irish at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon.

ON THE CHARGE - Jon Fisher has made a big impression on team-mate Calum Clark (pictured below)

Saints flanker Clark hails impact of new boy Fisher

Calum Clark has hailed back row buddy Jon Fisher for making a big splash at Saints.

RULED OUT - Saints skipper Dylan Hartley misses the trip to London Irish

Skipper Hartley ruled out of trip to London Irish

Saints skipper Dylan Hartley has been ruled out of Saturday’s Aviva Premiership game at London Irish with a back injury.

OVER TO YOU MATE - Mike Haywood replaces the injured Dylan Hartley at London Irish

Tom Vickers’ London Irish v Northampton Saints preview

Fixture: London Irish v Northampton Saints (Aviva Premiership round five)

Former Saint Shane Geraghty will be keen to prove a point at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday

Saints boss Mallinder wary of Geraghty threat

Shane Geraghty never managed to inspire Saints to victory at Welford Road, but that was exactly what he did for London Irish last weekend.

Alex Corbisiero will be out until early in the new year (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Mallinder has no plans to bring in cover for injured Corbisiero

Jim Mallinder is not considering bringing in injury cover for England prop Alex Corbisiero.

HE'S BACK - Jamie Elliott is set to start for the Wanderers on Monday

Winger Elliott set for Wanderers return

Jamie Elliott is set to return to action when the Wanderers host Bristol United on Monday night.

LATE CALL - Tom Wood will face a late fitness test ahead of Saints' game at London Irish, while Alex Corbisiero (right) is out (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Lawes and Wood face late fitness tests ahead of Saints’ Irish clash

Jim Mallinder says he will wait until the last possible moment to make a decision on Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood ahead of Saturday’s Aviva Premiership trip to London Irish.

Ben Foden on the charge against Bath last weekend (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Foden: Nervy finish will stand us in good stead

Ben Foden believes Saints’ late scare against Bath will stand them in good stead for Saturday’s tricky clash with London Irish.

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