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Mallinder calls for focus

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder wants his side to show they have learnt the lessons of defeat to Sale when they travel to face Worcester in the Aviva Premiership.

Saints' slow start to the season continued at Edgeley Park last weekend as they surrendered an 18-9 advantage to lose 29-21, leaving them without even the comfort of a losing bonus point as they suffered a third straight loss.

He said: "We had a good first hour at Edgeley Park and we will be looking to build on that at Sixways."

He added: "At the same time we will need to put into practice the lessons we learnt from the last 20 minutes of that game at Sale. We need to maintain our focus, impose our gameplan, work with the referee and keep control over what we're doing.

"Sixways is a tough place to play and Worcester have had a promising start to the season. Richard Hill has put together a squad that is full of power and experience as well as pace out wide that can potentially cause us problems.

"But the reaction from the players has been good this week. Everyone has pulled together, worked hard in training and is determined to get a positive result tomorrow evening."

Mallinder has restored Jon Clarke to his familiar centre role for the trip to the West Country as Greig Tonks comes back in the full-back jersey.

Scott Armstrong gets a chance to impress on the wing instead of Noah Cato and Lee Dickson returns at scrum-half while the pack is unchanged.

Worcester, meanwhile, also come into the game on the back of three straight defeats, including last week's agonising loss to leaders Harlequins.

England cap Chris Jones is selected at number eight with Kai Horstmann out due to a hamstring problem. The other two changes up front for coach Richard Hill see hooker Ed Shervington and lock Craig Gillies included.


From Belfast Telegraph