Northampton will line up against Bath on Wednesday with a completely fresh starting XV, as Chris Boyd rotates his side for the vital Gallagher Premiership clash. The Saints director of rugby is putting his faith in Northampton’s entire squad during this demanding block of fixtures with their top-four hopes in the balance.
Loosehead prop Nick Auterac is poised for his full debut since making the switch to Northampton from Harlequins, lining up in the front row with hooker James Fish and tighthead Owen Franks, while locks David Ribbans and Api Ratuniyarawa complete the tight five.
Club co-captain Teimana Harrison will lead out Saints at No8 jersey on a back row also featuring Courtney Lawes and JJ Tonks both starting in the flanker berths. Dan Biggar returns at No10 with scrum-half Henry Taylor by his side.
Harry Mallinder starts at full-back, with Ahsee Tuala – who scored a spectacular try against London Irish last time out off the bench – and Taqele Naiyaravoro on the wings. English duo Piers Francis and Fraser Dingwall round off the starting XV.
Bath have also made a raft of changes. After scoring his maiden Premiership try last time out versus Leicester, Tom de Glanville comes in for Anthony Watson at full-back in a team that sees Max Clark return from a long-term injury. The centre returns to the starting XV for the first time since the opening day of the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership campaign in October.
A fabulous finish… and what about that pass from James Grayson ?https://t.co/ztTsZzf5nE
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 22, 2020
Gabriel Hamer-Webb will make his first appearance since facing Ulster away in the final round of the European Champions Cup, replacing Ruaridh McConnochie, who is named as a replacement. Josh Matavesi swaps in for Rhys Priestland, who is named on the bench, and will form a new partnership with Will Chudley, who replaces Ben Spencer at scrum-half.
Beno Obano, Jack Walker and Christian Judge all come in to make up a new front row partnership with Bath Rugby changing the entire forward pack. Will Spencer makes his second debut for the club, having re-joined in June from Leicester Tigers.
A notable return to the bench sees Miles Reid back into the fold having recovered from an ACL tear on the very first day of the season against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS: 15. Harry Mallinder; 14. Ahsee Tuala, 13. Fraser Dingwall, 12. Piers Francis, 11. Taqele Naiyaravoro; 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Henry Taylor; 1. Nick Auterac, 2. James Fish, 3. Owen Franks, 4. David Ribbans, 5. Api Ratuniyarawa, 6. Courtney Lawes, 7. JJ Tonks, 8. Teimana Harrison (capt). Reps: 16. Sam Matavesi, 17. Francois van Wyk, 18. Ehren Painter, 19. Lewis Bean, 20. Tui Uru, 21. Tom James, 22. Rory Hutchinson, 23. Tommy Freeman.
BATH: 15. Tom de Glanville; 14. Semesa Rokoduguni, 13. Max Clark, 12. Cameron Redpath, 11. Gabriel Hamer-Webb; 10. Josh Matavesi, 9. Will Chudley; 1. Beno Obano, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Christian Judge, 4. Will Spencer, 5. Elliott Stooke, 6. Mike Williams, 7. Josh Bayliss (capt), 8. Zach Mercer. Reps: 16. Tom Dunn, 17. Lewis Boyce, 18. Will Stuart, 19. Charlie Ewels, 20. Miles Reid, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Rhys Priestland, 23. Ruaridh McConnochie.
"Many Northampton fans didn’t want me & were very outspoken. They assumed I was on mega wedge, not the academy contract that I essentially signed"@jameshaskell on hateful fan sites, I'm a Celebrity edits screwing him; MMA, BLM & more w/@heagneyl ???https://t.co/9SsEeGT790
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 16, 2020
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now