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Biggar and Ludlam return for Saints’ Boxing Day clash

Co-captain Lewis Ludlam and Wales international Dan Biggar return to Northampton Saints’ starting XV as the men in Black, Green and Gold close out 2020 against Worcester Warriors. 

The pair slot straight back into the line-up after shaking off injuries and make up two of eight changes to Chris Boyd’s side for the Boxing Day clash at Franklin’s Gardens.

With almost 2,000 Saints appearances across the matchday 23, Northampton will hope that experience helps them end a challenging year on a high note.

Ludlam will co-captain the side with loosehead prop Alex Waller, as the latter forms an unchanged front row alongside hooker Sam Matavesi and tighthead Paul Hill.

Nick Isiekwe shifts back to the engine room this week to join the returning David Ribbans at lock, while England internationals Courtney Lawes and Teimana Harrison pack down with Ludlam in a seasoned back row.

Biggar steps back into the Northampton No.10 shirt for the second time this season as he partners Alex Mitchell in the half-back berths, while Rory Hutchinson and Fraser Dingwall’s gritty performances in Dublin last weekend see them retain their places in Saints’ midfield. 

Meanwhile, Ahsee Tuala and Matt Proctor are two fresh faces in a new-look back three, with George Furbank returning to fullback for the festive fixture. 

Scrum-half Tom James also keeps his place in the matchday 23 after scoring his first Saints try against Leinster last time out, and is named in the replacements alongside the likes of Mikey Haywood, Owen Franks, Tom Collins, and Taqele Naiyaravoro.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS v WORCESTER WARRIORS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 4
Saturday 26 December 2020
Franklin's Gardens
Kick off: 4.30pm

15 George Furbank
14 Matt Proctor
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Ahsee Tuala
10 Dan Biggar
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller (co-capt)
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Paul Hill
4 David Ribbans
5 Nick Isiekwe
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Lewis Ludlam (co-capt)
8 Teimana Harrison

Replacements:
16 Mikey Haywood
17 Francois van Wyk
18 Owen Franks
19 Alex Moon
20 Shaun Adendorff
21 Tom James
22 Tom Collins
23 Taqele Naiyaravoro

Not available due to injury:
Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (achilles), Samson Ma’asi (illness), Ollie Sleightholme (ankle), and Kayde Sylvester (achilles).

Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix and Jamie Leahy
No.4: Alexander Thomas
TMO: Nigel Carrick

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