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Saints make one change for Challenge Cup knockout clash in Gloucester

Northampton Saints’ Director of Rugby, Chris Boyd, has made just one change to his side to take on Gloucester Rugby in the European Challenge Cup Round of 16, with Matt Proctor set to start at centre.

The men in Black, Green and Gold opt to stick largely with the winning formula which has seen them record three straight bonus-point wins in the Gallagher Premiership for the Kingsholm clash on Saturday (kick-off: 8pm).

Now moving into the knockout stages of the Challenge Cup, Saints take on the Cherry & Whites looking to reverse a narrow defeat at the same venue in early March – Northampton’s most-recent loss in all competitions.

Lewis Ludlam will lead out the visitors at Kingsholm, with Saints opting for an unchanged pack from the side that beat Bristol Bears a fortnight ago.

The England flanker is joined in Northampton’s back row by Courtney Lawes and No.8 Juarno Augustus, while David Ribbans and Api Ratuniyarawa continue in the engine room, and Alex Waller, Sam Matavesi and Paul Hill round off the forwards in the front row.

Proctor comes into the starting XV, lining up in Saints’ midfield alongside the in-form Rory Hutchinson.

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar will look to pull the strings in the No.10 jersey for Northampton with scrum-half Alex Mitchell, while fullback George Furbank and wings Tommy Freeman and Tom Collins are named in the back three.

Amongst the replacements for Saints, the experienced trio of Teimana Harrison, Piers Francis and Brandon Nansen all return to the matchday 23 and will look to make an impact off the bench if they enter the action.

European Challenge Cup, Round of 16
Saturday 16 April 2022
Kingsholm Stadium
Kick-off: 8pm

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

1 Alex Waller
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Paul Hill
4 David Ribbans
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Lewis Ludlam (c)
8 Juarno Augustus

16 Mike Haywood
17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi
18 Conor Carey
19 Alex Coles
20 Teimana Harrison
21 Tom James
22 Piers Francis
23 Brandon Nansen

Not considered for selection:
Matthew Arden, Nick Auterac, Fraser Dingwall, Ollie Newman, Ehren Painter, Courtnall Skosan, Kayde Sylvester, Karl Wilkins, and Tom Wood.

Referee: Sam Grove-White (SCO)
Assistant referee: Keith Allen and Finlay Brown (SCO)
No.4: Jonathan Healy (ENG)
TMO: Ben Blain (SCO)

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