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Scotland centre recalled as Saints bid to do the double over Prem Champs

By Sam Smith

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Scotland centre Rory Hutchinson has been recalled to the Northampton Saints starting line-up for their final home game of the season, against Exeter Chiefs, a side they have already beaten on the road this season.


Hutchinson is one of two changes from the side who beat Wasps last weekend, with prop Ehren Painter being named in the starting side. Hutchinson, who has three caps to his name for Scotland, has overcome a calf strain to be included.

Boyd’s charges head into Round 21 in fifth place in the Gallagher Premiership table, and will look to complete a season’s double over reigning champions Exeter Chiefs in front of a sold-out crowd of almost 4,000 supporters.

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Tommy Freeman, Ollie Sleightholme and Taqele Naiyaravoro form an unchanged back three for Saints, with Matt Proctor retaining his spot in the centres to partner the returning Hutchinson, while Tom James and Dan Biggar continue in the half-back berths for the second week running

Club co-captain Alex Waller joins Sam Matavesi – who this week extended his stay in Northampton with a new contract – and Painter in the front row, while David Ribbans and Api Ratuniyarawa remain in an unchanged engine room behind them.

Courtney Lawes starts again at flanker and partners Saints’ co-captain Lewis Ludlam, while Tom Wood continues in the No. 8 shirt after his match-winning score last weekend.

Emmanuel Iyogun, Alex Moon and Alex Coles will all look to make an impact off Northampton’s bench, meanwhile Alex Mitchell returns to the side from injury for the first time since April to take his place amongst the replacements.


15 Tommy Freeman
14 Ollie Sleightholme
13 Matt Proctor
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 Dan Biggar
9 Tom James
1 Alex Waller (co-capt)
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Ehren Painter
4 David Ribbans
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Lewis Ludlam (co-capt)
8 Tom Wood

16 Mike Haywood
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Paul Hill
19 Alex Moon
20 Alex Coles
21 Alex Mitchell
22 James Grayson
23 Fraser Dingwall


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