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Boyd makes ten changes ahead of Saints’ do-or-die Lyon clash

Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made ten changes to his Northampton Saints side as the men in Black, Green and Gold bid to reach the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday.

Standing in their way at the Stade de Gerland are Lyon OU, with Boyd’s charges needing a strong result to push themselves ahead of several other sides also in the running to progress in the best-placed runner-up spots.

Should Saints progress from Pool One, it would be the Club’s first quarter-final appearance in the Champions Cup since 2016, and Boyd has rung the changes with five new faces in the pack and five fresh pairs of legs in the backline following a stuttering showing against Benetton Rugby last weekend.

Co-captains Alex Waller and Teimana Harrison are both selected to lead Saints in arguably the Club’s biggest game of the season so far, with the former joined in the front row by hooker Mikey Haywood and prop Owen Franks.

No.8 Harrison meanwhile is flanked in the back row by England internationals Lewis Ludlam and Tom Wood, leaving Courtney Lawes and Alex Moon together to provide the grunt in the engine room.

George Furbank has shaken off the niggle that kept him out of last weekend’s clash at Franklin’s Gardens to take his place at fullback, with Ahsee Tuala coming back in on the wing and Ollie Sleightholme rounding off the back three.

Fraser Dingwall is joined in Northampton’s midfield by the powerful Andy Symons, while Dan Biggar and Cobus Reinach are reunited in the half-back berths after both were rested last Saturday.

Saints’ bench also boasts plenty of strength in depth, with the likes of Harry Mallinder, Henry Taylor and Rory Hutchinson all hoping to make an impact from amongst the replacements.

Heineken Champions Cup, Round Six
Saturday 18 January 2020
Stade de Gerland
Kick-off: 2pm local time (1pm GMT)

15 George Furbank
14 Ahsee Tuala
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Andrew Symons
11 Ollie Sleightholme
10 Dan Biggar
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Alex Waller (co-capt)
2 Mikey Haywood
3 Owen Franks
4 Alex Moon
5 Courtney Lawes
6 Tom Wood
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Teimana Harrison (co-capt)

16 James Fish
17 Francois Van Wyk
18 Ehren Painter
19 Api Ratuniyarawa
20 Alex Coles
21 Henry Taylor
22 Rory Hutchinson
23 Harry Mallinder

Not available for selection:
Alex Mitchell (knee), Reuben Bird-Tulloch (hand), Jamie Gibson (ankle), David Ribbans (ankle), Matt Proctor (concussion), Piers Francis (concussion) and Tom Collins (suspension).

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