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Saints select Biggar for Saracens

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Biggar in Northampton line-up against Saracens XV featuring ban-served Skelton

Dan Biggar is back in the Northampton starting line-up a week after featuring for Wales in their round three Guinness Six Nations loss to France in Cardiff. 

The out-half managed to safely negotiate the 80 minutes at the Principality Stadium having recovered from the round two concussion suffered in the defeat to Ireland in Dublin. 

Biggar is restored to the Northampton No10 jersey in place of James Grayson, who is rested following a head injury assessment in last weekend’s Gallagher Premiership loss at Exeter.

Rory Hutchinson and Cobus Reinach also return to Saints’ starting line-up to take on Saracens at Franklin’s Gardens.

Following a last-gasp 27-25 win at Allianz Park on the opening day of this campaign, the hosts are gunning for their first season’s double over the Londoners in the Premiership since the 2014-15 season.

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Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made five changes from the side that lost to the Chiefs, all of the alterations coming in the backline.

Biggar and Reinach form the half-backs, while Hutchinson returns from Scotland duty to play at inside centre with Fraser Dingwall – selected in England’s wider Six Nations squad – outside him in the midfield.

In the back three, Harry Mallinder has recovered from a slight hamstring injury to take his place at full-back, with Taqele Naiyaravoro and Ahsee Tuala lining up on the wings.

Ben Earl and Nick Tompkins return for Saracens. The duo became the latest academy graduates to earn caps for their respective countries – England and Wales – and slot in at openside flanker and inside centre respectively.

Winger Rotimi Segun has been reinstated on the flank while experienced Richard Wigglesworth is back at scrum-half.

Following a four-week suspension, Will Skelton comes into the second row to partner Callum Hunter-Hill and USA prop Titi Lamositele replaces Springbok Vincent Koch at tighthead

NORTHAMPTON: 15 Harry Mallinder; 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro; 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Cobus Reinach; 1 Francois van Wyk, 2 James Fish, 3 Paul Hill, 4 Alex Coles, 5 Lewis Bean, 6 Tom Wood, 7 JJ Tonks, 8 Teimana Harrison (capt). Reps: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Ben Glynn, 20 Mitch Eadie, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Andrew Symons, 23 Matt Proctor.

SARACENS: 15 Alex Goode; 14 Rotimi Segun, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Alex Lewington; 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Richard Wigglesworth; 1 Richard Barrington, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Titi Lamositele, 4 Will Skelton, 5 Callum Hunter-Hill, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 7 Ben Earl, 8 Jackson Wray (capt). Reps: 16 Tom Woolstencroft, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Joel Kpoku, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Alex Day, 22 Dom Morris, 23 Matt Gallagher. 

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Biggar in Northampton line-up against Saracens XV featuring ban-served Skelton
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