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Two changes for Saints’ final home outing of the season

Director of Rugby Chris Boyd has named his Northampton side to face Exeter Chiefs on Sunday, as Saints prepare to run out at Franklin's Gardens for the final time this term. 

After claiming a gritty win over Wasps last weekend, Boyd’s charges head into Round 21 in fifth place in the Gallagher Premiership table, and will look to complete a season’s double over reigning champions Exeter Chiefs in front of a sold-out crowd of almost 4,000 supporters.

The Kiwi coach has made just two changes to his starting line-up – with centre Rory Hutchinson overcoming the calf strain that saw him withdraw last time out to start on Sunday, while prop Ehren Painter shifts into the starting XV from last weekend's bench. 

Tommy Freeman, Ollie Sleightholme and Taqele Naiyaravoro form an unchanged back three for Saints, with Matt Proctor retaining his spot in the centres to partner the returning Hutchinson, while Tom James and Dan Biggar continue in the half-back berths for the second week running.

Club co-captain Alex Waller joins Sam Matavesi – who this week extended his stay in Northampton with a new contract – and Painter in the front row, while David Ribbans and Api Ratuniyarawa remain in an unchanged engine room behind them. 

Courtney Lawes starts again at flanker and partners Saints’ co-captain Lewis Ludlam, while Tom Wood continues in the No. 8 shirt after his match-winning score last weekend. 

Emmanuel Iyogun, Alex Moon and Alex Coles will all look to make an impact off Northampton’s bench, meanwhile Alex Mitchell returns to the side from injury for the first time since April to take his place amongst the replacements. 

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs EXETER CHIEFS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 21
Sunday 6 June 2021
Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

15 Tommy Freeman
14 Ollie Sleightholme
13 Matt Proctor
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 Dan Biggar
9 Tom James

1 Alex Waller (co-capt)
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Ehren Painter
4 David Ribbans
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Lewis Ludlam (co-capt)
8 Tom Wood

Replacements:
16 Mike Haywood
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Paul Hill
19 Alex Moon
20 Alex Coles
21 Alex Mitchell
22 James Grayson
23 Fraser Dingwall

Not available due to injury:
Owen Franks (foot), George Furbank (calf), Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (achilles), Teimana Harrison (calf), and Nick Isiekwe (pectoral).

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Sara Cox and Dean Richards
No.4: Bill Burton
TMO: Claire Hodnett

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