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Lawes to lead Saints in Gallagher Premiership semi-final

Courtney Lawes will captain Northampton Saints in his final outing at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, in the Gallagher Premiership semi-final against Saracens this Friday (31 May, kick-off: 7.45pm). 

Saints feature in their third consecutive Premiership semi-final – and their 12th appearance at this stage of the competition in the Club’s history – but play host in the knock-outs for the first time since 2015. 

Away losses to Leicester Tigers (2022) and Saracens (2023) were Northampton’s fate in their most-recent semi-finals, but the men in Black, Green and Gold have their sights set on reaching the Final for the first time since they lifted the trophy in 2014 as they welcome the current reigning champions to town. 

Alex Waller and Alex Moon will also be featuring in their final clash in Northampton amongst Saints’ starting XV, with Lewis Ludlam set to make his final home bow from amongst the hosts’ replacements. 

Hooker Curtis Langdon and tighthead prop Trevor Davison join Waller in the front row against Saracens – as the loosehead makes his 377th appearance in Black, Green and Gold. 

Moon partners Alex Coles at lock, while Tom Pearson returns to Saints’ starting line-up to join captain Lawes and No.8 Juarno Augustus in the back row. 

Alex Mitchell – who has assisted more tries than any other player in the Premiership this season (11) – starts at scrum-half for Saints, while the league’s second-highest points-scorer Fin Smith (132) is named at fly-half. 

Fraser Dingwall and Burger Odendaal partner in Saints’ centres against Saracens, while George Furbank starts at fullback for the 17th time this season for Northampton. 

The league’s top try-scorer Ollie Sleightholme (14) and Tommy Freeman – who has made the joint-most clean breaks in the Premiership (26) – are named on Saints’ wings to complete the starting line-up. 

Saints opt for a 6-2 bench for the semi-final clash, with the likes of Sam Matavesi, Emmanuel Iyogun, Temo Mayanavanua, Sam Graham and George Hendy all set to enter the action at the Gardens. 

We’re expecting a full house at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday – tickets for the clash between Saints and Saracens are completely SOLD OUT, so please allow plenty of time to get into your seat or place on the Terrace! 

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs SARACENS
Gallagher Premiership, Semi-Final
Friday 31 May, 2024
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 7.45pm

15 George Furbank
14 Tommy Freeman
13 Burger Odendaal
12 Fraser Dingwall
11 Ollie Sleightholme
10 Fin Smith
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller
2 Curtis Langdon
3 Trevor Davison
4 Alex Moon
5 Alex Coles
6 Courtney Lawes (c)
7 Tom Pearson
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements:
16 Sam Matavesi
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Elliot Millar Mills 
19 Temo Mayanavanua
20 Sam Graham
21 Lewis Ludlam
22 Tom James
23 George Hendy

Not available for selection:
Callum Braley.

SARACENS TEAM TO FACE SAINTS:
15 Elliot Daly, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Tom Parton, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ivan van Zyl; 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Marco Riccioni, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 7 Ben Earl, 8 Billy Vunipola. 
Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Hugh Tizard, 20 Theo McFarland, 21 Tom Willis, 22 Aled Davies, 23 Alex Lozowski.

Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe and Andrew Jackson
No.4: Dan Jones
TMO: Ian Tempest

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