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Seven changes for Saints for Cup clash against Doncaster

Northampton Saints round out their Premiership Rugby Cup campaign this Sunday (kick-off: 2.30pm), as they welcome Doncaster Knights to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for the first time since 2007. 

Phil Dowson makes seven changes to the side that overcame a 23-point deficit to defeat Bath Rugby 43-42 last weekend – with Alex Waller, Curtis Langdon, Alex Moon, Tom Lockett, Sam Graham, Archie McParland and Tom Seabrook all coming into the starting line-up.

Saints now cannot progress out of Pool D into the competition’s knock out stages but with their Gallagher Premiership opener just a week away, the men in Black, Green and Gold go in search of back-to-back wins to enter the league campaign with some momentum. 

Incoming Waller and Langdon are joined by Trevor Davison – one of Saints’ five try-scorers last weekend – in the front row, while Moon comes in for his second start of the season alongside Chunya Munga in the engine room. 

Lockett shifts into the back row this weekend for the first time in his Saints career, with Tom Pearson and No.8 Graham (formerly of Doncaster Knights) rounding off the pack. 

Saints are largely unchanged in the backs, with McParland and Seabrook the only additions there with the former starting at scrum-half alongside No.10 Fin Smith.

Rory Hutchinson and Fraser Dingwall man Saints’ midfield for the second week running, while Seabrook, James Ramm and George Furbank are named in the back three and complete Northampton’s starting line-up.

Meanwhile the likes of Robbie Smith, Angus Scott-Young, Tom James and George Hendy are all set to make an impact from amongst the replacements.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs DONCASTER KNIGHTS
Premiership Rugby Cup, Round 5
Sunday 8 October, 2023
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 2.30pm

15 George Furbank (c)
14 James Ramm
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Tom Seabrook
10 Fin Smith
9 Archie McParland

1 Alex Waller
2 Curtis Langdon
3 Trevor Davison
4 Alex Moon
5 Chunya Munga
6 Tom Lockett
7 Tom Pearson
8 Sam Graham

Replacements:
16 Robbie Smith
17 Ethan Waller
18 Elliot Millar Mills
19 Emeka Atuanya
20 Angus Scott-Young
21 Tom James
22 Joel Matavesi
23 George Hendy

Not available for selection:
Juarno Augustus, Callum Braley, Alex Coles, Jake Garside, Emmanuel Iyogun, Tarek Haffar, Beltus Nonleh and Burger Odendaal. 

International duty:
Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Alex Mitchell (all England), Sam Matavesi and Temo Mayanavanua (both Fiji).

DONCASTER TEAM TO FACE SAINTS:
15 Harry Davey, 14 George Simpson, 13 Joe Bedlow, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden, 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Connor Davidson, 2 Tom Doughty, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Ehize Ehizode, 5 Ben Murphy, 6 Harry Wilson, 7 Rhys Tait, 8 Seb Nagle-Taylor.
Replacements: 16 Cam Terry, 17 Harrison Courtney, 19 Evan Mintern, 20 Adam Hopkinson, 21 A Smeaton, 22 Oli Fox, 23 Billy McBryde.

Referee: Dan Jones
Assistant referees: Ian Tempest and John Meredith
No. 4: Paul Dix
TMO: Andrew Jackson

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