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Boyd rings the changes for Dragons trip

Northampton Saints have named a 33-man squad for their penultimate preseason fixture in Wales as they head to Rodney Parade to face Dragons. 

Ten players will make their first starts of the season on Friday (kick-off 7.30pm), as new director of rugby Chris Boyd shakes things up from last weekend’s win over Ospreys, with new signings James Haskell and Dan Biggar making their first starts in Black, Green and Gold.

Courtney Lawes returns from injury looking to make an impact off the bench in Newport, with Mikey Haywood also making his return to the squad at starting hooker.

Tom Collins, Fraser Dingwall and Piers Francis start in the backs alongside last weekend’s starting wingers Ollie Sleightholme and Ken Pisi, with Biggar teaming up with Cobus Reinach in the half-backs.

And with Haywood returning to hooker, Francois van Wyk retains his starting spot at loosehead with Ehren Painter packing down for his first start of the season from tighthead; while in the second row, Api Ratuniyarawa links up with James Craig.

Haskell – who made his first appearance in a Saints shirt last weekend – Lewis Ludlam and Teimana Harrison make up the back row.  

Northampton Saints play their first home preseason fixture against Glasgow Warriors at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday 24 August, before kicking off their Premiership campaign against Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday 1 September.   

DRAGONS v NORTHAMPTON
Preseason Friendly
Friday 17 August, 2018
Kick-off: 7.30pm


15 Tom Collins
14 Ollie Sleightholme
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Piers Francis (capt)
11 Ken Pisi
10 Dan Biggar
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Francois van Wyk
2 Mikey Haywood
3 Ehren Painter
4 Api Ratuniyarawa
5 James Craig
6 James Haskell
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Teimana Harrison

Replacements:
Alex Waller, Will Davis, James Fish, Joe Gray, Ben Franks, Courtney Lawes, David Ribbans, Jamie Gibson, Heinrich Brüssow, Mitch Eadie, Alex Mitchell, James Grayson, Nafi Tuitavake, Rory Hutchinson, Matt Worley, Tom Emery