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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Northampton in poor shape to end losing run against Gloucester

Scrum-half Will Heinz a saucy price to cross the tryline

Gloucester scrum-half Will Heinz
1 of 1

Aviva Premiership
BT Sport 3, 3pm Saturday

Northampton will be looking to the experience of new coaching consultant Alan Gaffney to dig them out of their losing rut at home to Gloucester but the cards seem to be stacked in their opponents' favour.

The Saints have lost seven in a row, a run that saw director of rugby Jim Mallinder sacked and 71-year-old Australian Gaffney parachuted in, but their performance seemed to go backwards in last week's heavy defeat to Harlequins.

Fly-half Piers Francis picked up a head injury in that game which leaves him on the sidelines along with Stephen Myler, so Harry Mallinder has to revert from full-back to fly-half, a position where he struggled in the early part of the season.

Saints looked all at sea defensively against Quins, lacking in organisation and direction, and visitors Gloucester seem to be hitting form at just the right time to cash in.

A tally of eight wins from 12 has propelled them into the top four and they have shaken off their tag as poor travellers with wins at Bath and Newcastle.

Six of those eight victories have been by a single-figure margin and that looks the area to focus on, while returning Cherry & White scrum-half Will Heinz is worth backing to get on the scoresheet.

The New Zealander has four Premiership tries to his name this season including a brace at Bath and loves to snipe from the base of the ruck, an area where Northampton have looked vulnerable.

Gloucester to win by one to 12 points
1pt 19-10 Sky Bet
W Heinz to score a try
1pt 11-2 Betfair

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Saints looked all at sea defensively against Quins, lacking in organisation and direction
E.W. Terms
Sky bet