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Five changes for Saints ahead of trip to Saracens

Director of Rugby Phil Dowson has made five changes to Northampton Saints’ starting XV this weekend as the men in Black, Green and Gold face Saracens.

Saints enter the Gallagher Premiership clash (kick-off: 12.15pm, live on BT Sport and ITV) sat fourth in the table following back-to-back wins over Bristol Bears and Exeter Chiefs. Sunday’s opponents Saracens however are unbeaten in the league so far this season and top the table after nine rounds of action.

George Furbank and Alex Mitchell both start in Saints’ back-line, at fullback and scrum-half respectively, after the pair were released from England duty on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Tommy Freeman – scorer of both Northampton tries against Chiefs – and Courtnall Skosan continue on the wings, with the visitors’ midfield also unchanged as skipper Fraser Dingwall and Rory Hutchinson are named in the centres.

Fin Smith remains in the No.10 jersey after an impressive start to his Saints career which has seen him pick up 29 points and a man-of-the-match award in two appearances. The 20-year-old’s current streak of 12 successful kicks at goal is the longest in the Premiership.

Two changes come in the front row for Northampton with props Alex Waller and Paul Hill returning to the starting line-up to pack down either side of hooker Mike Haywood.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Alex Moon are selected together in Saints’ engine room for the third straight week, while No.8 Juarno Augustus returns from injury in the back row to join flankers Angus Scott-Young and Sam Graham – who made a whopping 37 tackles between them last time out against Exeter.

Amongst the replacements for Northampton, the likes of Emmanuel Iyogun, Tom James and Matt Proctor will be hoping to make an impact from the bench, while Kayde Sylvester and James Ramm could make their Gallagher Premiership debuts if they enter the action.

Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 10
Sunday 13 November 2022
StoneX Stadium
Kick-off: 12.15pm

15 George Furbank
14 Tommy Freeman
13 Fraser Dingwall (c)
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Courtnall Skosan
10 Fin Smith
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller
2 Mike Haywood
3 Paul Hill
4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
5 Alex Moon
6 Angus Scott-Young
7 Sam Graham
8 Juarno Augustus

16 Robbie Smith
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Ehren Painter
19 Brandon Nansen
20 Kayde Sylvester
21 Tom James
22 Matt Proctor
23 James Ramm

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

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

15 Max Malins, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Alex Lozowski, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Alex Goode, 9 Ivan van Zyl; 1 Robin Hislop, 2 Theo Dan, 3 Marco Riccioni, 4 Callum Hunter-Hill, 5 Andrew Kitchener, 6 Andy Christie, 7 Ben Earl (c), 8 Jackson Wray.
Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 James Flynn, 18 Alec Clarey, 19 Ollie Stonham, 20 Hugh Tizard, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Josh Hallett, 23 Tom Howe.

Referee: Andrew Jackson
Assistant Referees: Nick Wood and Phil Watters
No.4: Mike Woods
TMO: Claire Hodnett

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