Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made just one change to his side ahead of this weekend’s Gallagher Premiership clash against Bath Rugby, with Fraser Dingwall returning to Northampton Saints’ midfield at the Rec.
The men in Black, Green and Gold sit top of the league standings after three wins from three matches – with victories over Saracens, Worcester Warriors and Harlequins leaving them as the only side with a 100 per cent winning record so far.
Saints have made their best start to a Premiership campaign since the 2012-13 season and boast a fine recent away record, winning four of their last six away games in the competition, but standing in their way are a Bath side who have only lost once at home in league action in 12 months.
Dingwall joins Scotland international Rory Hutchinson in the centres as Northampton’s only change to the side that beat Quins last weekend, with Boyd opting to largely stick with his winning formula.
George Furbank, Tom Collins and last Friday’s man-of-the-match Taqele Naiyaravoro keep their places in Saints’ back three, with the in-form half-back duo of Henry Taylor and James Grayson starting together for the seventh straight week.
Following his try double against Quins, Teimana Harrison will lead the side out again in the No.8 jersey, with Tom Wood and Jamie Gibson in the flanker positions for the trip to the West Country.
And while the likes of Courtney Lawes, Piers Francis, Lewis Ludlam and Dan Biggar are all rested after their Rugby World Cup campaigns, there is a spot amongst the replacements for Samoa international Ahsee Tuala – who returns to Saints’ matchday squad for the first time this season.
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs BATH RUGBY
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round Four
Saturday 9 November, 2019
The Recreation Ground
15 George Furbank
14 Tom Collins
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 James Grayson
9 Henry Taylor
1 Ben Franks
2 Mike Haywood
3 Ehren Painter
4 David Ribbans
5 Alex Moon
6 Tom Wood
7 Jamie Gibson
8 Teimana Harrison (c)
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Hamish Smales & Wayne Falla
TMO: Trevor Fisher
Not available for selection:
Francois van Wyk (elbow), Harry Mallinder (knee), Alex Mitchell (knee), Reece Marshall (hamstring), Rueben Bird-Tulloch (hand), Alex Waller (shoulder), and Andy Symons (back).