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Boyd makes five changes as Saints visit Worcester

Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made five changes to his Northampton Saints side ahead of Friday evening’s Gallagher Premiership trip to Sixways to face Worcester Warriors.

The men in Black, Green and Gold enter the clash without a win in four matches – but despite a frustrating run of results they still sit fourth in the league standings, and will be looking to extend a superb recent run against Worcester which has seen Saints win seven of the last eight meetings between the sides.

Three of Boyd’s changes to the starting XV come in the backline, with Tom Collins returning to the wing to join Taqele Naiyaravoro and fullback Harry Mallinder in the back three.

Andrew Symons is drafted into the centres to add some ballast to Northampton’s midfield, with Rory Hutchinson moving outside him into the No.13 jersey, and James Grayson steps back in at fly-half to partner Cobus Reinach.

The only change to the front row is at hooker, where Mikey Haywood is selected to pack down in-between props Francois van Wyk and Paul Hill.

Meanwhile locks Alex Coles and Lewis Bean retain their places in the engine room, but Saints’ back row sees one change as Lewis Ludlam returns from international duty to partner Tom Wood at flanker, with skipper Teimana Harrison leading out the side wearing the No.8 jersey.

Amongst the replacements the Franks brothers and Fiji’s Sam Matavesi bring some international pedigree to the front row, while the likes of Henry Taylor, Fraser Dingwall and Ahsee Tuala will hope to make an impact off the bench if they enter the action.

WORCESTER WARRIORS vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 13
Friday 6 March 2020
Sixways Stadium
Kick-off: 7.45pm

15 Harry Mallinder
14 Tom Collins
13 Rory Hutchinson
12 Andrew Symons
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 James Grayson
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Francois van Wyk
2 Mikey Haywood
3 Paul Hill
4 Alex Coles
5 Lewis Bean
6 Tom Wood
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Teimana Harrison (c)

Replacements:
16 Sam Matavesi
17 Ben Franks
18 Owen Franks
19 Ben Glynn
20 JJ Tonks
21 Henry Taylor
22 Fraser Dingwall
23 Ahsee Tuala

Referee: Andrew Jackson
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix & Jamie Leahy
TMO: David Rose

Not available for selection:
Jamie Gibson (ankle), David Ribbans (ankle), Piers Francis (concussion), Api Ratuniyarawa (suspension), Ollie Sleightholme (hamstring), Alex Moon (knee), Ehren Painter (calf), Alex Waller (achilles), and Matt Proctor (chest).

International duty:
Dan Biggar (Wales), George Furbank and Courtney Lawes (both England).

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