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Landmark for Marshall as Saints change three for Saracens clash

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Cobus Reinach, Reece Marshall and Teimana Harrison all return to the starting XV as Northampton Saints take on Saracens on Saturday.

The hosts – who have lost just one of their five home fixtures in all competitions in 2018 – make three changes to their line-up for the clash at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 2pm) as they take on the north London outfit for the fourth time this season.

Hooker Reece Marshall makes his first ever Aviva Premiership Rugby start, and will pack down alongside props Campese Ma’afu and Kieran Brookes in Saints’ front row.

Christian Day once again skippers the side in the absence of Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes, joining Api Ratuniyarawa in the Northampton engine room.

Teimana Harrison comes back into the starting line-up after serving a one-match ban, and will once again pull on the No.8 jersey for Saints, with fellow back rowers David Ribbans and Jamie Gibson either side of him.

The back three remains unchanged, with Ahsee Tuala lining up at fullback behind Nafi Tuitavake and George North on the wings.

Piers Francis and Rob Horne – Saints top try-scorer in all competitions this season – continue their partnership in the centres, while Cobus Reinach comes into the No.9 jersey to link up with Northampton veteran Stephen Myler in the half-backs.

There is room for Ben Foden amongst the replacements, while scrum-half Alex Mitchell and wing Tom Collins are drafted into the 23 after impressing with five tries between them for the Wanderers in Monday’s A League clash.

“A common theme in all three of the games we’ve played against them so far this season is that we’ve been the makers of our own downfall,” said interim head coach Alan Dickens.

“We spilt the ball or turned it over, and they capitalised, so it’s something we’ve got to focus on – we need to look after the ball, we’ve got to exit on our terms and be more clinical than we have been in the last three games.

“We’ve come on a long way defensively in recent weeks and ultimately we’ve got to win that gainline. That’s the same every single week of the season and especially against Saracens as they are a very physical side.”

Tickets for Saints v Saracens are still available from the ticket office at Franklin’s Gardens, online by CLICKING HERE or by calling the Saints Ticket Office on 01604 581000. Prices start at £32 for adults and £14 for juniors.

SAINTS V SARACENS
Aviva Premiership Rugby, Round 19
Franklin’s Gardens
Saturday 7th April, 2018
Kick-off: 2pm 

SAINTS SARACENS

15 Ahsee Tuala
14 Nafi Tuitavake
13 Rob Horne
12 Piers Francis
11 George North
10 Stephen Myler
9 Cobus Reinach 

1 Campese Ma’afu
2 Reece Marshall
3 Kieran Brookes
4 Api Ratuniyarawa
5 Christian Day (capt)
6 David Ribbans
7 Jamie Gibson
8 Teimana Harrison 

Replacements:
16 Charlie Clare
17 Francois van Wyk
18 Ehren Painter
19 Michael Paterson
20 Ben Nutley
21 Alex Mitchell
22 Tom Collins
23 Ben Foden

 

15 Liam Williams
14 Sean Maitland
13 Alex Lozowski
12 Brad Barritt
11 Chris Wyles
10 Owen Farrell
9 Ben Spencer

1 Mako Vunipola
2 Schalk Brits
3 Juan Figallo
4 Maro Itoje
5 George Kruis
6 Nick Isiekwe
7 Blair Cowan
8 Jackson Wray

Replacements:
16 Jamie George
17 Richard Barrington
18 Kieran Longbottom
19 Dominic Day
20 Schalk Burger
21 Richard Wigglesworth
22 Duncan Taylor
23 Nathan Earle

 

Injury list:
Tom Wood, Heinrich Brüssow, Mikey Haywood, Courtney Lawes, Dylan Hartley, Paul Hill, Jamal Ford-Robinson and Harry Mallinder are all unavailable for selection.

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