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Three changes for Saints as they travel to Wasps

Director of Rugby Chris Boyd has made three changes to his Northampton Saints starting line-up ahead of the side’s trip to Wasps this Sunday. 

British & Irish Lion Courtney Lawes comes into the side in the back row to make his first start of the season, and Tommy Freeman also makes his first start of the campaign on the right wing, while David Ribbans recovers from the illness that kept him out of last weekend’s match. 

After a last-minute victory over London Irish saw Northampton go three from three in their opening matches, Saints head to Coventry hoping to win their first four matches of a Gallagher Premiership season for only the second time in the Club’s history (2012/13).

And Saints’ record at Wasps has been full of exciting clashes in recent years; the men in Black, Green and Gold have won three of the last four outings to Coventry in all tournaments by five points or less, and with both sides in a good run of form, Sunday’s clash (kick-off: 3pm) is sure to be another nail-biter.

George Furbank and Ollie Sleightholme stay on at fullback and left wing respectively this weekend, while Freeman comes into the starting line-up to complete the back three. 

Saints remain unchanged through the rest of the backs, with Fraser Dingwall and Matt Proctor continuing in the centres and Dan Biggar once again partnering Alex Mitchell in the half-back berths. 

Northampton also name a largely unchanged tight five; Nick Auterac, Sam Matavesi and Paul Hill make up the front row for the second week running, while Ribbans returns to man the engine room with Api Ratuniyarawa. 

Lawes’ inclusion provides the only other change to Saints’ forward pack, with the 243-time Saint coming into the starting line-up to join captain Lewis Ludlam and No. 8 Juarno Augustus in the back row.

And with Mikey Haywood, Teimana Harrison and Rory Hutchinson all set to enter the game from the bench, Saints’ replacements will be looking to make an impact in Coventry. 

WASPS vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 4
Sunday 10 October 2021
Coventry Building Society Arena
Kick-off: 3pm

15 George Furbank
14 Tommy Freeman
13 Matt Proctor
12 Fraser Dingwall
11 Ollie Sleightholme
10 Dan Biggar
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Nick Auterac
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Paul Hill
4 David Ribbans
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Lewis Ludlam (capt)
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements:
16 Mikey Haywood
17 Alex Waller
18 Ehren Painter
19 Alex Coles
20 Teimana Harrison
21 Frank Lomani
22 Rory Hutchinson
23 Alex Moon

Not considered for selection:
Matthew Arden, Callum Burns, Oisín Heffernan, Dani Long-Martinez, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Ollie Newman, and JJ Tonks.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald and Jonathan Healy
No.4: Peter Allan/Neil Chivers
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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