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Ludlam and Sleightholme out as Saints make 7 changes for Leinster

By Josh Raisey
Ollie Sleightholme (right) celebrates with Northampton teammates Fraser Dingwall and Tommy Freeman (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Lewis Ludlam and Ollie Sleightholme have been ruled out of Northampton Saints’ Investec Champions Cup semi-final against Leinster on Saturday at Croke Park.

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The pair both sustained the injuries in the Saints’ 41-32 loss to Harlequins in the Gallagher Premiership last week, with Ludlam leaving the field with a shoulder injury and Sleightholme suffering a head injury.

Juarno Augusts comes into the starting XV for the Saints in Ludlam’s place, with Sam Graham shifting from No8 to openside flanker.

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The 115kg No8 started in the quarter-final against the Bulls, scoring a try at Franklin’s Gardens.

The South African is one of five changes in the pack from the side that lost in London, with prop Alex Waller, hooker Curtis Langdon and locks Alex Moon and Alex Coles returning to the starting XV to make what is the strongest pack director of rugby Phil Dowson could field currently.

Fixture
Investec Champions Cup
Leinster
20 - 17
Full-time
Northampton
All Stats and Data

Rising star George Hendy takes Sleightholme’s place on the wing. The 21-year-old is one of two changes in the backline from the team that loss to Quins, with England centre Fraser Dingwall’s return to inside centre being the other. He replaces Tom Litchfield, who drops to the bench.

Courtney Lawes will captain the side as he nears his final appearance for the Saints.

Leinster, meanwhile, have made two changes from the team that triumphed over La Rochelle in the quarter-finals.

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Northampton Saints XV
15 George Furbank
14 James Ramm
13 Tommy Freeman
12 Fraser Dingwall
11 George Hendy
10 Fin Smith
9 Alex Mitchell
1 Alex Waller
2 Curtis Langdon
3 Trevor Davison
4 Alex Moon
5 Alex Coles
6 Courtney Lawes (c)
7 Sam Graham
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements
16 Sam Matavesi
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Elliot Millar Mills
19 Temo Mayanavanua
20 Angus Scott-Young
21 Tom James
22 Tom Litchfield
23 Tom Seabrook

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