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Four changes for Saints ahead of Harlequins clash

Phil Dowson makes four changes to his Northampton Saints side as the men in Black, Green and Gold clash with Harlequins under the lights at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday (24 November, kick-off: 7.45pm). 

Ethan Waller, Sam Matavesi, Courtney Lawes and Ollie Sleightholme all return to Northampton’s starting line-up this week, with the latter set to make his first start in a Saints shirt since February as Quins come to town for the Round 7 clash. 

Saints have won their last two matches on home soil – defeating Bath Rugby and Exeter Chiefs in Rounds 4 and 5 – but come into Friday’s clash off the back of a 26-17 loss to East Midlands rivals Leicester Tigers, and look to get back to winning ways in Northampton as they go in search of their fourth league win of the season. 

George Furbank is named at fly-half for the 12th time in his Saints career, and he partners Alex Mitchell in Northampton’s half-back berths on Friday – with Fin Smith still recovering from a back spasm which forced him off early in Leicester last weekend. 

Sleightholme (who made his return from injury in Saints’ last home match against Exeter) starts in the back three alongside wing James Ramm and fullback George Hendy, while Fraser Dingwall and Tommy Freeman retain their spots in the hosts’ centres. 

Waller and Matavesi come into the front row for Saints to pack down with tighthead prop Trevor Davison, with Alex Coles – who has made the joint-most offloads in the Premiership so far (alongside teammate Tom James) – shifting back into the second row to pair up with Chunya Munga this week. 

Tom Pearson and Club captain Lewis Ludlam – who made more post-contact metres (34) than any other player in the last round of the Premiership – remain in the back row this week, with Lawes returning from injury to start alongside the pair and complete the starting line-up. 

Meanwhile, the likes of Tom Cruse, Alex Waller, Angus Scott-Young and scrum-half James are all primed to make an impact from amongst Saints’ replacements – while loanee Charlie Savala is set to make his debut in Black, Green and Gold should he enter the action on Friday evening.

The biggest home crowd of the season so far is expected at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, but some tickets for Northampton Saints vs Harlequins remain and are still available to purchase HERE – with prices starting at £23 adults / £8 child*.

Gallagher Premiership, Round 7
Friday 24 November, 2023
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 7.45pm

15 George Hendy
14 Ollie Sleightholme
13 Tommy Freeman
12 Fraser Dingwall
11 James Ramm
10 George Furbank
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Ethan Waller
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Trevor Davison
4 Chunya Munga
5 Alex Coles
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Tom Pearson
8 Lewis Ludlam (c)

16 Tom Cruse
17 Alex Waller
18 Elliot Millar Mills
19 Tom Lockett
20 Angus Scott-Young
21 Tom James
22 Charlie Savala – Northampton Saints debut
23 Tom Litchfield

Not available for selection:
Juarno Augustus, Sam Graham, Rory Hutchinson, Emmanuel Iyogun, Curtis Langdon, Burger Odendaal and Robbie Smith.

15. Tyrone Green, 14. Cadan Murley, 13. Will Joseph, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Louis Lynagh, 10. Marcus Smith, 9. Danny Care; 1. Fin Baxter, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Dillon Lewis, 4. Irne Herbst, 5. George Hammond, 6. Dino Lamb, 7. Will Evans, 8. Alex Dombrandt (c).
Replacements: 16. Nathan Jibulu, 17. Santiago Garcia Botta, 18. Lovejoy Chawatama, 19. Chandler Cunningham-South, 20. James Chisholm, 21. Will Porter, 22. Jarrod Evans, 23. Oscar Beard.

Referee: Sara Cox
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe and Andrew Jackson
No.4: Ryan Collier
TMO: Ian Tempest

Next Home Match

Northampton Saints
Saturday 9 March - 2:30pm

* All ticket prices are subject to a £1.50 booking fee.

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