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Saints name large squad for opening preseason skirmish in Wales

Northampton Saints have named a 34-man squad for their opening clash of preseason ahead of the 2018/19 campaign away at Ospreys.

Seven players will make their debuts in Black, Green and Gold at Brewery Field on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm), with Dan Biggar, James Haskell, Ben Franks, Dom Barrow, Will Davis, Matt Worley, and Joe Gray all due to feature.

Fly-half Biggar will look to make an impact off the bench against his former side in Bridgend, with England international flanker Haskell, prop Davis, wing Worley and hooker Gray all also named amongst the replacements.

But World Cup winner Franks starts in the front row alongside Francois van Wyk and James Fish, while Saints’ powerful engine room includes debutant Barrow and David Ribbans.

Jamie Gibson – named in last year’s Premiership team of the season – Heinrich Brüssow, and Mitch Eadie complete the pack, while James Grayson and Cobus Reinach start in the half-back positions looking to build on a partnership which blossomed last season.

After captaining Saints’ Premiership Rugby 7s side last month, Rory Hutchinson will run out in the centres alongside England Under-20 international Fraser Dingwall, and experience and youth are blended in the back three with Ken Pisi, Tom Emery and Ollie Sleightholme all starting.

OSPREYS v NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Preseason Friendly
Saturday 11 August, 2018
Brewery Field
Kick-off: 3pm

SAINTS
15 Tom Emery
14 Ollie Sleightholme
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Ken Pisi
10 James Grayson
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Francois van Wyk
2 James Fish
3 Ben Franks
4 Dom Barrow
5 David Ribbans
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Heinrich Brüssow
8 Mitch Eadie

Replacements:
Will Davis, Alex Waller, Joe Gray, Ehren Painter, Api Ratuniyarawa, James Craig, Devante Onojaife, James Haskell, Paddy Ryan, Teimana Harrison, Lewis Ludlam, Alex Mitchell, Connor Tupai, Dan Biggar, Tom Collins, Luther Burrell, Fraser Strachan, Matt Worley, Nafi Tuitavake