Northampton Saints have made three changes for Tuesday evening’s Gallagher Premiership clash against Sale Sharks. Director of Rugby Chris Boyd has called Alex Mitchell, Sam Matavesi and Shaun Adendorff into the starting XV following last week’s Champions Cup quarter-final exit to Exeter Chiefs.
Saints will be hoping to end a frustrating run of home form in their final fixture of the 2019/20 campaign at Franklin’s Gardens, but boast a superb recent record against the Sharks on their own patch – winning ten of the last 11 encounters between the sides at the Gardens.
Flanker Lewis Ludlam will lead out the men in Black, Green and Gold with No.8 Adendorff bringing some ballast to the back row alongside England international Courtney Lawes.
David Ribbans and Api Ratuniyarawa continue their partnership in the engine room with 19-year-old loosehead, Manny Iyogun, continuing in the front row after a breakthrough performance against Exeter – with Fiji international Matavesi and World Cup winning All Black Owen Franks completing the pack.
Dan Biggar will hope to pull the strings from stand-off for Saints with Mitchell inside of him at scrum-half, meanwhile Rory Hutchinson and Fraser Dingwall are selected again in Northampton’s midfield.
The back three is also unchanged from the European clash at Chiefs, with Ahsee Tuala and Matt Proctor on the wings and George Furbank lining up at fullback.
The hosts’ replacements are packed with international pedigree as the likes of Nick Isiekwe, Teimana Harrison, and Taqele Naiyaravoro will all hope to make an impact from the bench.
Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank; 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Ahsee Tuala; 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Alex Mitchell; 1 Manny Iyogun, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Owen Franks; 4 David Ribbans, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa; 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Lewis Ludlam (c); 8 Shaun Adendorff
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Ehren Painter, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Jamie Gibson, 22 Henry Taylor, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro
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