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Harrison skippers Saints for Cup Final rematch

Teimana Harrison will lead out Northampton Saints on home soil for the first time as Club captain this weekend, as the men in Black, Green and Gold welcome Saracens to Franklin’s Gardens.

In a repeat of last season’s Premiership Rugby Cup final – which Saints won 23-9 to claim their first major silverware in five years – Northampton host their north London rivals looking for a first victory of the new season (kick-off 3pm, Sunday 6 October).

Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made seven changes to the starting line-up that went down to Wasps last weekend, five of which come in the pack with flanker Harrison set to lead out the men in Black, Green and Gold.

Mitch Eadie keeps his place at No.8 after an impressive intercept score last time out, while 19-year-old JJ Tonks starts his first competitive match for Saints and completes the back row.

After signing a new contract with Northampton earlier this week, David Ribbans is joined in the engine room by Alex Moon who makes his first appearance of the season, as does loosehead prop Francois van Wyk in the front row alongside Ehren Painter and hooker Michael van Vuuren.

Two changes in the Northampton backline see wing Ryan Olowofela and centre Fraser Dingwall return to the starting XV. Dingwall partners Andy Symons in the midfield with James Grayson and Henry Taylor continuing their half-back partnership inside them.

Meanwhile Olowofela is part of an exciting back three as Tom Collins moves across to the wing, paving the way for Scotland international Rory Hutchinson to start at fullback – his first appearance in the 15 jersey of his Saints career.

Amongst the replacements there is room for Heinrich Brüssow, with the 22-time Springbok recovering from an ankle injury and primed to make his first appearance of the season off the bench.

Premiership Rugby Cup, Round 3
Sunday 6 October, 2019
Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

15 Rory Hutchinson
14 Ryan Olowofela
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Andrew Symons
11 Tom Collins
10 James Grayson
9 Henry Taylor

1 Francois Van Wyk
2 Michael Van Vuuren
3 Ehren Painter
4 David Ribbans
5 Alex Moon
6 JJ Tonks
7 Teimana Harrison (c)
8 Mitch Eadie

16 Samson Ma'asi
17 Alex Waller
18 Karl Garside
19 Lewis Bean
20 Heinrich Brüssow
21 Connor Tupai
22 Tommy Mathews
23 Reuben Bird-Tulloch

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Adam Leal & Philip Watters
TMO: Claire Hodnett

Not available for selection:
Harry Mallinder (knee), Dylan Hartley (knee), Alex Mitchell (knee), Reece Marshall (hamstring), Mikey Haywood (knee), Jamie Gibson (shoulder), and Paddy Ryan (knee)

International duty:
Dan Biggar (Wal), Piers Francis (Eng), Courtney Lawes (Eng), Lewis Ludlam (Eng), Api Ratuniyarawa (Fiji), Cobus Reinach (SA), and Ahsee Tuala (Sam).

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