Northampton Saints’ director of rugby Chris Boyd has made ten changes to his starting XV to face Leicester Tigers this weekend in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
A place in the semi-finals is on the line for the men in Black, Green and Gold – with Northampton’s fate in their own hands and a bonus-point victory enough to guarantee a place in the last four of the competition.
After scoring 17 tries last time out against Timisoara Saracens, Boyd will hope the momentum stays with his side as they host their East Midlands rivals at Franklin’s Gardens for the second derby of the season.
Ken Pisi returns on the wing to make his third appearance of the season after recovering from injury, with Tom Collins also coming back into the line-up and fullback George Furbank completing the back three.
Last week’s man-of-the-match Rory Hutchinson is switched to inside centre to make room for Nafi Tuitavake in the midfield; the Tonga international selected for his first Northampton start since the opening match of the Gallagher Premiership campaign.
James Grayson continues in the No.10 shirt after kicking 22 points against Timisoara, but Cobus Reinach comes back into the team to partner him at scrum-half.
Northampton’s pack contains six changes, with only Dom Barrow – who faces his former side for the first time as a Saint – and Jamie Gibson retained from last week's win.
Francois van Wyk, James Fish and Ben Franks come in to make up a new-look front row, while lock Api Ratuniyarawa joins Barrow in the engine room, and Heinrich Brüssow and skipper Teimana Harrison round off the XV.
Meanwhile amongst the replacements, England international James Haskell is in line to make his return to action for the first time since October should he be introduced off the bench.
Tickets are still available for Northampton Saints’ Premiership Rugby Cup clash against Leicester Tigers on Saturday, kick-off 3pm. Prices start from £32 adults and £14 juniors; book your place now by CLICKING HERE.
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS v LEICESTER TIGERS
Premiership Rugby Cup Pool 3, Round 4
Saturday 26 January, 2019
15 George Furbank
14 Ken Pisi
13 Nafi Tuitavake
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Tom Collins
10 James Grayson
9 Cobus Reinach
1 Francois van Wyk
2 James Fish
3 Ben Franks
4 Api Ratuniyarawa
5 Dom Barrow
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Heinrich Brüssow
8 Teimana Harrison (c)
16 Reece Marshall
17 Will Davis
18 Ehren Painter
19 Alex Moon
20 James Haskell
21 Charlie Davies
22 Ahsee Tuala
23 Andrew Kellaway
Not available for selection:
Andy Symons (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), Tom Emery (shoulder), Mikey Haywood (knee), Dylan Hartley (knee), and Piers Francis (shoulder).