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Saints name side for Sale Sharks clash

Director of Rugby Chris Boyd has made three changes to his Northampton Saints side ahead of Tuesday evening’s Gallagher Premiership clash against Sale Sharks.

Alex Mitchell, Sam Matavesi and Shaun Adendorff all come into the starting XV and are the only alterations to the line-up that went down to Exeter Chiefs in last week’s Champions Cup quarter-final.

Saints will be hoping to end a frustrating run of home form in their final fixture of the 2019/20 campaign at Franklin’s Gardens, but boast a superb recent record against the Sharks on their own patch – winning ten of the last 11 encounters between the sides at the Gardens.

Flanker Lewis Ludlam will lead out the men in Black, Green and Gold with No.8 Adendorff bringing some ballast to the back row alongside England international Courtney Lawes.

David Ribbans and Api Ratuniyarawa continue their partnership in the engine room with 19-year-old loosehead, Manny Iyogun, continuing in the front row after a breakthrough performance against Exeter – with Fiji international Matavesi and World Cup winning All Black Owen Franks completing the pack.

Dan Biggar will hope to pull the strings from stand-off for Saints with Mitchell inside of him at scrum-half, meanwhile Rory Hutchinson and Fraser Dingwall are selected again in Northampton’s midfield.

The back three is also unchanged from the European clash at Chiefs, with Ahsee Tuala and Matt Proctor on the wings and George Furbank lining up at fullback.

The hosts’ replacements are packed with international pedigree as the likes of Nick Isiekwe, Teimana Harrison, and Taqele Naiyaravoro will all hope to make an impact from the bench.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs SALE SHARKS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 21
Tuesday 29 September 2020
Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 5.30pm

15 George Furbank
14 Matt Proctor
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Ahsee Tuala
10 Dan Biggar
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Manny Iyogun
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Owen Franks
4 David Ribbans
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Lewis Ludlam (c)
8 Shaun Adendorff

Replacements:
16 James Fish
17 Alex Seville
18 Ehren Painter
19 Nick Isiekwe
20 Teimana Harrison
21 Jamie Gibson
22 Henry Taylor
23 Taqele Naiyaravoro

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Sara Cox and Jamie Leahy
TMO: Rowan Kitt
No.4: Alex Thomas