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Ethan Waller brings up Saints century in Newcastle

Ethan Waller will run out in Black, Green and Gold for the 100th time this weekend as Northampton Saints travel to Newcastle Falcons for a must-win Premiership Rugby Cup match.

The visitors head up to Kingston Park with a place in the competition’s semi-finals within reach – while victory will not necessarily guarantee a knock-out berth, it would put Saints in the driving seat and keeps hopes of a home semi-final alive depending on results elsewhere.

Northampton edged out Falcons 32-31 in a nail-biting encounter when the sides met back in October, and with the last six meetings between the two clubs in Newcastle being evenly split with three wins apiece, Saints will expect another tricky assignment on Saturday afternoon (kick-off: 3.30pm).

Callum Braley skippers Northampton for the third time in this season’s Cup competition from scrum-half, with Joel Matavesi starting in the No.10 jersey having deputised at fly-half in the second half of Saints’ Round 3 clash against Harlequins.

The midfield is full of youth for the men in Black, Green and Gold as Tom Litchfield and Ethan Grayson line up together in the centres, while in contrast Saints go with an experienced back-three in Tom Collins, Courtnall Skosan and fullback James Ramm.

Loosehead prop Waller brings up his Northampton century, running out with hooker Robbie Smith and tighthead Ehren Painter in the front row.

Tom Lockett and Brandon Nansen start together in the engine room for the third consecutive Premiership Rugby Cup match, while the back row is also unchanged from Saints’ win over Harlequins in Round 3 with flankers Kayde Sylvester and Angus Scott-Young packing down either side of No.8 Geordie Irvine.

Amongst the replacements for Northampton, prop Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi and hooker Callum Burns could make their first appearances of the season if they enter the action, while there’s also room on the bench for Under-18s players Henry Pollock and Archie McParland.

Premiership Rugby Cup, Round 4
Saturday 19 November 2022
Kingston Park
Kick-off: 3.30pm

15 James Ramm
14 Courtnall Skosan
13 Ethan Grayson
12 Tom Litchfield
11 Tom Collins
10 Joel Matavesi
9 Callum Braley (c)

1 Ethan Waller – 100th Club appearance
2 Robbie Smith
3 Ehren Painter
4 Tom Lockett
5 Brandon Nansen
6 Kayde Sylvester
7 Angus Scott-Young
8 Geordie Irvine

16 Callum Burns
17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi
18 Alfie Petch
19 Emeka Atuanya
20 Henry Pollock*
21 Archie McParland*
22 Toby Thame
23 George Hendy

*Saints Under-18s player

Not considered for selection:
Matthew Arden, James Fish, James Grayson, Aaron Hinkley, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, George Patten, Ollie Sleightholme and Karl Wilkins.

International duty:
Sam Matavesi (Fiji) and David Ribbans (England).

15 Alex Tait (c), 14 Iwan Stephens, 13 Zach Kerr, 12 Ewan Greenlaw, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Josh Barton; 1 Conrad Cade, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 Jamie Berrisford, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Freddie Lockwood, 7 Guy Pepper, 8 Tom Marshall.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Mark Dormer, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Rory Ward, 20 Marcus Tiffen, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Josh Thomas, 23 Vereimi Qorowale.

Referee: Dan Jones
Assistant referees: Mike Hudson and Gregg Dawson
No.4: David Charlton

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