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Two Saints changes for trip to Exeter Chiefs

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Harry Mallinder and David Ribbans both come back into Northampton Saints’ starting line-up this Saturday, as the men in Black, Green and Gold travel to Exeter Chiefs.

The Saints make just the two changes for the trip to Sandy Park to take on the reigning Aviva Premiership champions, after coming from behind to beat London Irish last weekend.

Harry Mallinder lines up at fullback for the first time since December, having worn the No.10 jersey on his last three starts for Saints.

The 21-year-old was released by England earlier in the week after training with Eddie Jones’ Red Rose squad during their preparations to take on Scotland.

David Ribbans comes into the engine room to join skipper Christian Day in the only other change to Saints’ starting XV, with the front row of Campese Ma’afu, Mikey Haywood, Kieran Brookes lining up together again.

Heinrich Brüssow makes his first appearance away from home in the Black, Green and Gold – with the in-form Jamie Gibson and last week’s man-of-the-match Teimana Harrison making up the rest of the back row.

Piers Francis and Nic Groom remain in the half-back berths, while Ahsee Tuala switches to the wing with George North away on Wales international duty.

And Michael Paterson is the only change to the replacements for Saints as technical coaching consultant Alan Gaffney and interim head coach Alan Dickens stick with largely the same formula that came good against Irish at Franklin’s Gardens.

“Exeter are a team that you know will play and play, looking after the ball more than other teams, and they will always try to have the most possession,” said Dickens.

“They have a great squad and Sandy Park is a tough place to go. I know this week will be no different – we’ve already been there once this season in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

“But there were a lot of positive signs when we played them back in December at Franklin’s Gardens, so it’s a challenge that we are looking forward to.”

Tickets are now available for Saints home clash with Sale Sharks on Saturday 3 March from the ticket office at Franklin’s Gardens, online by CLICKING HERE or by calling the Saints Ticket Office on 01604 581000.

EXETER CHIEFS v SAINTS TEAM NEWS
Aviva Premiership Rugby, Round 16
Sandy Park
Saturday 24th February, 2018
Kick-off: 2pm 

EXETER CHIEFS SAINTS

15 Lachie Turner
14 Ian Whitten
13 Ollie Devoto
12 Sam Hill
11 Olly Woodburn
10 Gareth Steenson (capt)
9 Will Chudley

1 Alec Hepburn
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie
3 Greg Holmes
4 Sam Skinner
5 Jonny Hill
6 Don Armand
7 Julian Salvi
8 Thomas Waldrom

Replacements:
16 Jack Innard
17 Ben Moon
18 Marcus Street
19 Mitch Lees
20 Matt Kvesic
21 Stu Townsend
22 Joe Simmonds
23 Phil Dollman

 

15 Harry Mallinder
14 Ahsee Tuala
13 Rob Horne
12 Luther Burrell
11 Ben Foden
10 Piers Francis
9 Nic Groom 

1 Campese Ma’afu
2 Mikey Haywood
3 Kieran Brookes
4 David Ribbans
5 Christian Day (capt)
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Heinrich Brüssow
8 Teimana Harrison 

Replacements:
16 Reece Marshall
17 Francois van Wyk
18 Jamal Ford-Robinson
19 Michael Paterson
20 Tom Wood
21 Cobus Reinach
22 Stephen Myler
23 Nafi Tuitavake

Injury update:

Alex Waller, James Craig and Api Ratuniyarawa are unavailable for selection

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