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Moon brings up century of Saints appearances at Bristol

Alex Moon will make his 100th appearance for Northampton Saints this weekend, as the side head to Bristol Bears in the Premiership Rugby Cup. 

The Round 3 clash sees a number of senior players return to Saints’ side as Phil Dowson makes eight changes to his starting XV – with the likes of Trevor Davison, Alex Coles, Angus Scott-Young, Tom James, Fin Smith and Fraser Dingwall all set for their first appearances of the season. 

Saints claimed their first win of the Cup competition last weekend with an emphatic 55-5 victory against Cambridge Rugby, and head to Bristol in search of back-to-back results as they face Gallagher Premiership opposition for the first time this term. 

Moon – who made his debut for Saints in the Premiership Rugby Cup back in 2016 – will lead the side out at Ashton Gate as he brings up a century of appearances in Black, Green and Gold, joining props Davison and Ethan Waller, hooker Curtis Langdon, and lock Tom Lockett in Northampton’s tight five. 

A new-look back row completes Saints’ forward pack, with Coles and Scott-Young lining up at flanker for their first games of season, while Sam Graham returns to the side to at No.8. 

Tom James and Fin Smith also come into the starting line-up to man Northampton’s half-back berths, while centre Toby Thame retains his spot in Saints’ midfield alongside captain Dingwall. 

Tommy Freeman shifts out to the wing for the clash in Bristol, joining Tom Seabrook and George Hendy in the back three. 

And there are five more players set for their first run outs of the season on Northampton’s bench, with Robbie Smith, Juarno Augustus, George Furbank and James Ramm all primed to enter the action, while Emmanuel Iyogun returns from injury to feature for the first time since January. 

Premiership Rugby Cup, Round 3
Saturday 23 September, 2023
Ashton Gate
Kick-off: 2.30pm

15 George Hendy
14 Tommy Freeman
13 Fraser Dingwall (c)
12 Toby Thame
11 Tom Seabrook
10 Fin Smith
9 Tom James

1 Ethan Waller
2 Curtis Langdon
3 Trevor Davison
4 Alex Moon – 100th Saints appearance
5 Tom Lockett
6 Alex Coles
7 Angus Scott-Young
8 Sam Graham

16 Robbie Smith
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Elliot Millar Mills
19 Emeka Atuanya
20 Juarno Augustus
21 Archie McParland
22 George Furbank
23 James Ramm

Not available for selection:
Callum Braley, Tarek Haffar, Paul Hill, Beltus Nonleh, Burger Odendaal, Ollie Sleightholme and Craig Wright. 

International duty:
Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Alex Mitchell (all England), Sam Matavesi and Temo Mayanavanua (both Fiji).

15 Rich Lane, 14 Jack Bates, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 James Williams, 11 Gabriel Ibitoye, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Harry Randall (c); 1 Jake Woolmore, 2 Harry Thacker, 3 Max Lahiff, 4 Josh Caulfield, 5 Ed Holmes, 6 Joe Batley, 7 Dan Thomas, 8 Magnus Bradbury
Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Andrew Turner, 18 George Kloska, 19 James Dun, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Joe Jenkins

Referee: Joe James
Assistant referees: Andrew Jackson and Jonathan Healy
No. 4: Ryan Collier

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