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Saints make three changes for trip to Harlequins

Tom Wood, Jamie Gibson, and Api Ratuniyarawa all return to Northampton Saints’ starting line-up for this weekend’s Gallagher Premiership visit to Harlequins.

With just four rounds of the regular league season remaining and plenty to play for, the men in Black, Green and Gold are hoping to chalk up a season’s double over the south-west Londoners and keep up their challenge for knock-out rugby.

Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made three changes for Saturday’s trip to Twickenham Stoop (kick-off 3pm), all within the pack.

Flankers Wood and Gibson both come into the back row to join No.8 Teimana Harrison, who also captains the side.

Ratuniyarawa meanwhile is thrust into the engine room alongside Courtney Lawes, but the Fijian international is the only change to the tight five with Francois Van Wyk, Reece Marshall and Paul Hill all packing down in the front row for the second straight week.

Northampton’s back-line is unchanged from last week’s defeat to Gloucester Rugby, with Cobus Reinach – the Premiership’s top-scorer with 11 tries so far this season – and Dan Biggar starting in the half-back berths.

Piers Francis and Rory Hutchinson continue in Saints’ midfield with George Furbank, Ahsee Tuala and Taqele Naiyaravoro keeping their places in the back three.

And the likes of James Grayson, Alex Mitchell, Andrew Kellaway and Alex Coles all take their places on a youthful bench for Northampton – with hooker Samson Ma’asi set to make his Club debut if he enters the fray.

Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 19
Saturday 13 April, 2019
Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 3pm

15 George Furbank
14 Ahsee Tuala
13 Rory Hutchinson
12 Piers Francis
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 Dan Biggar
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Francois Van Wyk
2 Reece Marshall
3 Paul Hill
4 Api Ratuniyarawa
5 Courtney Lawes
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Tom Wood
8 Teimana Harrison (c)

16 Samson Ma'asi
17 Alex Waller
18 Ben Franks
19 Alex Coles
20 Mitch Eadie
21 Alex Mitchell
22 James Grayson
23 Andrew Kellaway

Not available for selection:
Andy Symons (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), Mikey Haywood (knee), Dylan Hartley (knee), Ehren Painter (calf), Paddy Ryan (knee), James Haskell (toe), Fraser Dingwall (ankle), David Ribbans (ankle), James Fish (concussion), Heinrich Brüssow (concussion), Alex Moon (ankle), James Craig (hamstring), Lewis Ludlam (shoulder), Nafi Tuitavake (elbow), Ollie Sleightholme (ankle), and Luther Burrell (concussion).

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