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Four changes for Saints ahead of Quins clash

Ollie Sleightholme, Fraser Dingwall, Paul Hill and Alex Coles all come into Northampton Saints’ starting line-up this weekend as Chris Boyd’s side face Harlequins.

The men in Black, Green and Gold travel to Twickenham Stoop on Sunday for the clash between third and fifth in the Gallagher Premiership, as the league moves past the halfway point of the season.

Despite a reverse to Bath last week ending Saints’ four-match winning run, Northampton have won their last three away Premiership fixtures and are bidding to claim four away victories in a row for the first time in the competition since 2014.

Twickenham Stoop has also been a happy hunting ground for Saints, who have won on four of their last six visits to the London ground.

Wing Sleightholme and centre Dingwall are the only two changes to Northampton’s back-line, with the latter coming into the midfield to join Piers Francis for his first start in 2021.

Matt Proctor and fullback Tommy Freeman complete the back three, while Boyd sticks with the half-back axis of England international George Furbank and Tom James – who caught the eye with his first two Premiership tries last time out.

Flanker Lewis Ludlam will lead out the men in Black, Green and Gold from an unchanged back row, as Nick Isiekwe and No.8 Tom Wood continue in the side.

But there are changes to the tight five as Hill comes into the front row to join hooker Sam Matavesi and loosehead Nick Auterac, with lock Coles joining Api Ratuniyarawa in the engine room.

Meanwhile amongst the replacements Saints can call on the likes of Harry Mallinder, Rory Hutchinson, Mike Haywood and Alex Waller to make an impact off the bench.

HARLEQUINS vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 12
Sunday 7 March 2021
Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 3pm

15 Tommy Freeman
14 Matt Proctor
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Piers Francis
11 Ollie Sleightholme
10 George Furbank
9 Tom James

1 Nick Auterac
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Paul Hill
4 Alex Coles
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Nick Isiekwe
7 Lewis Ludlam (c)
8 Tom Wood

Replacements:
16 Mike Haywood
17 Alex Waller
18 Ehren Painter
19 Alex Moon
20 JJ Tonks
21 Henry Taylor
22 Rory Hutchinson
23 Harry Mallinder

Not available due to injury:
Shaun Adendorff (knee), Owen Franks (foot), Teimana Harrison (groin), Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (achilles), Courtney Lawes (pectoral), and Kayde Sylvester (achilles).

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Karl Dickson and Adam Leal
TMO: Wayne Barnes

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