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Four changes to Saints side set to take on Bath Rugby

Director of Rugby Chris Boyd has made four changes to Northampton Saints’ starting XV as the men in Black, Green and Gold welcome Bath Rugby on Saturday afternoon.

The West Country outfit have proved a difficult side for Saints to overcome in recent seasons, with Northampton’s last win over Bath coming back in February 2019 – but of the last six meetings between the sides at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, it has been honours even with three wins apiece and four of those games were decided by one score or less.

Saints moved into the Gallagher Premiership’s top four with a thrilling bonus-point win over Bristol Bears last time out, and make just one change to their back line as Rory Hutchinson returns to the centres to partner Fraser Dingwall, with Matt Proctor ruled out through injury.

That means the back three of George Furbank, Tommy Freeman and Courtnall Skosan continue for Saints, with Dan Biggar and the in-form Alex Mitchell – who with four scores and seven assists has been directly involved in the most Premiership tries of any player so far this season – filling the half-back berths.

Two of Saints’ three changes to the pack come in the front row; Alex Waller is selected again at loosehead prop, but hooker Sam Matavesi and tighthead Ehren Painter both return to the starting XV.

David Ribbans and Alex Moon continue their partnership in the engine room, while Karl Wilkins comes into the back row for Northampton to play alongside skipper Lewis Ludlam and Juarno Augustus at No.8.

Meanwhile, amongst Saints’ replacements Alex Coles is set to make his 50th appearance for the Club if he enters the action, plus Ollie Sleightholme also returns from injury and will hope to make an impact from the bench.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs BATH RUGBY
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 10
Saturday 4 December 2021
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

15 George Furbank
14 Tommy Freeman
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Courtnall Skosan
10 Dan Biggar
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Ehren Painter
4 David Ribbans
5 Alex Moon
6 Karl Wilkins
7 Lewis Ludlam (c)
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements:
16 James Fish
17 Nick Auterac
18 Paul Hill
19 Api Ratuniyarawa
20 Alex Coles
21 Tom James
22 Tom Litchfield
23 Ollie Sleightholme

Not considered for selection:
Callum Burns, Piers Francis, Teimana Harrison, Oisín Heffernan, Courtney Lawes, Dani Long-Martinez, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Matt Proctor, and Kayde Sylvester.

Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant Referees: John Meredith & Phil Watters
No.4: Alex Thomas
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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