Northampton Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd has made four changes to his starting XV to take on Wasps at Franklin’s Gardens this Saturday (kick-off 1pm).
George Furbank, Fraser Dingwall and Alex Moon all make their first starts in the Gallagher Premiership, with Will Davis, Karl Garside and Ollie Sleightholme also set to earn their league debuts in Black, Green and Gold if they come off the bench against Saints’ midlands rivals.
Northampton will be looking for a second victory over Wasps in the space of three weeks – after winning 15-14 in Coventry earlier this month – but Saturday’s clash will also see Saints honour the Club’s fallen war heroes in its annual Remembrance Ceremony.
Alex Waller will lead out Boyd’s side at Franklin’s Gardens, with James Fish selected at hooker and Ben Franks completing the front row.
David Ribbans, who has started every Gallagher Premiership match so far this season, continues that streak and is joined in Saints’ engine room by Moon – who impressed over the last three weeks in the Premiership Rugby Cup competition.
Northampton’s back row features flanker Lewis Ludlam and No.8 Teimana Harrison, plus there is a return to Premiership action for the first time since March for Tom Wood.
Cobus Reinach and James Grayson make up the side’s half-back axis with Dingwall joining Piers Francis in the midfield, and Saints’ back-three is unchanged from last weekend’s trip to Gloucester as Taqele Naiyaravoro, Andrew Kellaway and Furbank line up together.
“It’s very much part of the mantra of what Saints is about, to give the younger guys the opportunities to perform,” said Boyd.
“And then if they go ahead and do that, we’ve got to trust them to keep moving forward – so the likes of Alex Moon, Fraser Dingwall and George Furbank have all played really well the last three weeks and deserve to retain their spots.
“Last weekend gave us some good lessons in terms of game management and it was a really gutsy performance from the team. We have a lot of up-and-coming players, and they are all doing a great job for us right now.”
Tickets are still available for Northampton Saints’ Gallagher Premiership fixture with Wasps on 17 November. Buy now from £36 adults and £16 juniors by CLICKING HERE.
Saints will host their annual Remembrance service and wreath laying ahead of the match, and England v Japan will be shown in the Rodber Bar after the full-time whistle.
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS v WASPS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round Seven
Saturday 17 November, 2018
15 George Furbank
14 Andrew Kellaway
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Piers Francis
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 James Grayson
9 Cobus Reinach
1 Alex Waller (c)
2 James Fish
3 Ben Franks
4 David Ribbans
5 Alex Moon
6 Tom Wood
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Teimana Harrison
16 Reece Marshall
17 Will Davis
18 Karl Garside*
19 Api Ratuniyarawa
20 Jamie Gibson
21 Alex Mitchell
22 Luther Burrell
23 Ollie Sleightholme
* Guest player
Not available for selection:
Ken Pisi (shoulder), Nafi Tuitavake (neck), Andy Symons (knee), Jamal Ford-Robinson (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), James Haskell (ankle), Heinrich Brüssow (concussion), James Craig (concussion), Paul Hill (shoulder), Ehren Painter (back), Mikey Haywood (knee) and Tom Collins (eye).