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Furbank and Dingwall bring up 50 as Saints host Irish

George Furbank and Fraser Dingwall will both mark a half-century of senior appearances for Northampton Saints against London Irish on Friday evening.

The men in Black, Green and Gold make six changes in total for the Gallagher Premiership match against the Exiles at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off: 7.45pm), with Nick Auterac, Mikey Haywood, Alex Moon and Tom Collins all also returning to the starting line-up.

The league clash sees fifth take on sixth, as the sides lock horns for the first time this season (with January’s match cancelled) – and Saints will be hoping to build on a strong recent record over Irish, having won four of the last five encounters between the sides.

Friday also marks a momentous occasion for the Northampton Saints Foundation, as the charity celebrates its first annual ‘Takeover Match’ – for more information please CLICK HERE.

Director of Rugby Chris Boyd makes three changes to the Northampton backline that went down to Ulster last weekend, with Furbank shaking off a calf injury to start at fullback, and centre Dingwall recalled to the hosts’ midfield to partner Piers Francis.

Collins is named on the opposite wing to the in-form Ollie Sleightholme in the final backs switch, with Dan Biggar and Alex Mitchell continuing in the half-back berths for the second straight week.

Flanker Lewis Ludlam skippers the side from an unchanged back row, with Nick Isiekwe and No.8 Teimana Harrison selected again for Saints.

Moon comes into the engine room to join David Ribbans at lock, while two more changes in the front row see loosehead prop Auterac and hooker Haywood rotated into the side to join tighthead Paul Hill.

There’s plenty of firepower to come off the Northampton bench too; the likes of Rory Hutchinson and Ahsee Tuala will be ready to make an impact if required, plus Alex Waller and Tom Wood offer plenty of experience from amongst Saints’ replacements.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs LONDON IRISH
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 17
Friday 16 April 2021
Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 7.45pm

15 George Furbank
14 Ollie Sleightholme
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Piers Francis
11 Tom Collins
10 Dan Biggar
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Nick Auterac
2 Mike Haywood
3 Paul Hill
4 David Ribbans
5 Alex Moon
6 Nick Isiekwe
7 Lewis Ludlam (capt)
8 Teimana Harrison

Replacements:
16 Sam Matavesi
17 Alex Waller
18 Ehren Painter
19 Alex Coles
20 Tom Wood
21 Tom James
22 Rory Hutchinson
23 Ahsee Tuala

Not available due to injury:
Owen Franks (foot), Tommy Freeman (knee), Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (achilles), Courtney Lawes (pectoral), Taqele Naiyaravoro (concussion), Ryan Olowofela (ankle), Matt Proctor (calf), Api Ratuniyarawa (shoulder), and Kayde Sylvester (achilles).

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: John Meredith and Robert Warburton
No.4: George Selwood
TMO: Matthew Carley