Director of Rugby, Chris Boyd, has named his Northampton Saints side for this weekend’s clash against Worcester Warriors – with Dan Biggar, Alex Mitchell and David Ribbans all returning from international duty and heading straight into the starting XV.
The men in Black, Green and Gold make seven changes in total for the trip to Sixways on Saturday afternoon (kick-off: 3pm) after last weekend’s late defeat by Bristol Bears, as Tom Collins, Piers Francis, Ollie Sleightholme and Ehren Painter also take their place in the line-up.
Northampton sit fifth on the Gallagher Premiership ladder but will be looking to close the gap on the top four with a victory, having won their last six encounters with Warriors since 2017.
Wales fly-half Biggar returns to Saints’ No.10 jersey following the conclusion of his country’s Six Nations campaign, with Alex Mitchell joining him in the half-back berths for his first game in five weeks.
Francis is back at inside centre for the visitors with Scotland international Rory Hutchinson moving outside him in the midfield, and while George Furbank continues at fullback it’s all change on the wings for Saints as Collins and Sleightholme complete the back three.
Ribbans comes straight into the engine room after returning from the England camp to join Api Ratuniyarawa, but last weekend’s back row is unchanged with Nick Isiekwe – who grabbed his third Saints try against Bristol – starting alongside Tom Wood and No.8 Teimana Harrison.
Amongst the replacements for Northampton there’s a welcome return for Shaun Adendorff, who has recovered from a knee injury and will look to make an impact from the bench alongside the likes of Fraser Dingwall, Tom James and Tommy Freeman.
WORCESTER WARRIORS vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 15
Saturday 27 March 2021
15 George Furbank
14 Tom Collins
13 Rory Hutchinson
12 Piers Francis
11 Ollie Sleightholme
10 Dan Biggar
9 Alex Mitchell
1 Alex Waller (c)
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Ehren Painter
4 David Ribbans
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Nick Isiekwe
7 Tom Wood
8 Teimana Harrison
Referee: Andrew Jackson
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Healy and Simon McConnell
NO.4: Joe James
TMO: Trevor Fisher