Odds and Predictions for London Irish vs. Northampton Saints
The Northampton Saints have won their first two games of the Gallagher Rugby Premiership season. Despite everything, the London Irish keep fighting.
A 2-0 lead has given Northampton an early advantage. This includes a thrilling 26-24 victory over last year’s Cup finalists, the Exeter Chiefs, last week on the road. George Furbank’s late penalty gave the Saints the victory.
Last week, the Exiles staged their own performance. London Irish, playing in front of their home fans after more than a year, came back from a 31-14 halftime deficit to earn a 31-31 draw with Sale Sharks.
However, the Saints are the favorite according to the oddsmakers. The home team is favored by 8.5 points over the London Irish.
Saturday’s game will begin at 9am ET in cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens. Rain, 8 mph winds, and a temperature of 59 degrees are what the weather man has predicted.
Saints Adding Some Big Names
Two members of the British and Irish Lions who spent the summer touring South Africa will make their season debut with the Saints on Saturday, despite being required to rest until mid-October per international rugby regulations.
Fly-half Dan Biggar of Wales and second-row forward Courtney Lawes of England are both on the roster. Biggar will get the nod for the opening shift, with Lawes coming in as a substitute.
The other three changes are the additions of #8 Nick Auterac, prop Paul Hill, and prop Juarno Augustus, all of whom will join Biggar in the starting lineup. From the team that just beat Exeter, we’ve lost props Ehren Painter and Alex Waller, number eight Teimana Harrison, and fly-half James Grayson.
Centers Rory Hutchinson (neck) and Piers Francis (shoulder) are also getting closer to full health.
London Irish Welcome Back Loader
London Irish’s winger Ben Loader is making his season debut this Saturday after recovering from an injury. Among 13 teams, the Exiles are currently 9th.
Scrum-half Nick Phipps has also returned to the team after recovering from an injury.
The London Irish have emerged as a strong second-half team this year. The Exiles scored 19 of their points (including a 17-point comeback against Sale) in the second half of their season-opening 36-24 loss to Worcester.
Saints Go Marching On
A year ago, the Saints also made the trip to Exeter and defeated the Chiefs 13-12 at Sandy Park. Then they returned home only to stumble badly against Bath.
Northampton will need to recall that performance well against London Irish, who showed Sale the previous week that they are never out of it.
Three of Northampton’s next four games will be played at Franklin’s Gardens, so the Saints should have a good chance to get off to a winning start in the Gallagher Premiership.
On April 26th, the two teams played each other again, and Northampton came out on top, 44-26. The Saints should win for rugby betting, but if you want to take the points, go with the Exiles.