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Lightning name side for first Gardens outing

Loughborough Lightning will make their debut at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday, and Director of Rugby Rhys Edwards has named his side ahead of the Double Header event.

Lightning come into the clash having won six of their last seven matches, sitting sixth in the Allianz Premier 15s table and welcoming fourth-placed Exeter Chiefs to Northampton (kick-off: 5.15pm).

Edwards makes just one change to his line-up from the side that defeated Sale Sharks last time out, with winger Carys Williams starting Saturday’s clash. Georgie Lingham joins Williams on the opposite wing, while Fran Goldthorp shifts to fullback against Exeter.

Emma Hardy and Bulou Mataitoga are named in the centres for Lightning with Eloise Hayward and Helena Rowland continuing for Loughborough in the half-back berths.

England hooker Lark Davies will lead out Lightning at the Gardens, with Katie Trevarthen and Charli Jacoby packing down either side of her in the front row.

And Edwards names a completely unchanged pack; Courtney Holtkamp and last week’s try-scorer Lilli Ives Campion line up in Lightning’s engine room, while Sara Svoboda and Red Roses duo Sadia Kabeya and Sarah Hunter round off the pack in the back row.

It will be an historic day on the cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens turf, as Saints’ elite women’s team – Loughborough Lightning – play in Northampton for the first time since an innovative new partnership between the Club and Loughborough University was announced last year. Lightning kick-off against Exeter Chiefs at 5.15pm, approximately 30 minutes after full-time in the clash between Saints and Sale. Matchday tickets cover both fixtures and are AVAILABLE HERE from just £20 adult / £8 child.

LOUGHBOROUGH LIGHTNING vs EXETER CHIEFS
Allianz Premier 15s
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 5.15pm

15 Fran Goldthorp
14 Carys Williams
13 Bulou Mataitoga
12 Emma Hardy
11 Georgie Lingham
10 Helena Rowland
9 Eloise Hayward

1 Katie Trevarthen
2 Lark Davies (c)
3 Charli Jacoby
4 Courtney Holtkamp
5 Lilli Ives Campion
6 Sara Svoboda
7 Sadia Kabeya
8 Sarah Hunter

Replacements:
16 Maja Meuller
17 Isla Curphey
18 Gill Bourke
19 Hallie Taufoou
20 Abby Duguid
21 Jess Weaver
22 Georgina Tasker
23 Bo Westcombe-Evans

Referee: Dan Rowlands
Assistant referees: Reece Rileys and Jason Newell
No.4: Martyn Sly

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