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Ludlam to bring up century of Saints appearances against Falcons

Club captain Lewis Ludlam will make his hundredth appearance in Black, Green and Gold as Northampton Saints play Newcastle Falcons in their last home match of the season this Saturday. 

Saints take to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for the final round of the regular Gallagher Premiership season hoping to secure a place in the play-off spots for the first time since 2019, with only single seats remaining for the clash.

Chris Boyd’s side secured an impressive 44-8 victory in the reverse fixture at Kingston Park back in January and a season double over Falcons on final day would guarantee Saints’ progression to next weekend’s semi-finals. 

Rory Hutchinson – one of four changes to the side that fell just short at Saracens last time out – comes into the centres alongside Fraser Dingwall, with Matt Proctor shifting out to the wings to join Tommy Freeman and George Furbank in the back three. 

Dan Biggar and Alex Mitchell – fresh from picking up the Players’ Player and Supporters’ Player of the Season double at Saints’ end of season awards – partner in the half-back berths for the second match running. 

A fresh-look front row of Alex Waller, Sam Matavesi and Paul Hill pack down in front of locks Api Ratuniyarawa and Alex Coles, with an unchanged back row of Courtney Lawes, Aaron Hinkley and centurion Ludlam completing the forward pack. 

And there is plenty of firepower amongst Saints’ replacements – with the likes of Mike Haywood, Tom James and Courtnall Skosan hoping to make an impact, while David Ribbans and Juarno Augustus look set to make their returns from injury off the bench.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs NEWCASTLE FALCONS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 26
Saturday 4 June 2022
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

15 George Furbank
14 Matt Proctor
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Tommy Freeman
10 Dan Biggar
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Paul Hill
4 Alex Coles
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Aaron Hinkley
8 Lewis Ludlam (c) – 100th Saints appearance 

Replacements:
16 Mike Haywood
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Ehren Painter
19 David Ribbans
20 Brandon Nansen
21 Juarno Augustus
22 Tom James
23 Courtnall Skosan

Not considered for selection:
Matthew Arden, Conor Carey, Teimana Harrison, Ollie Newman, and Tom Wood.

Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Mike Hudson and John Meredith
No.4: James Clarke
TMO: Stuart Terheege

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