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Waller leads Saints on 300th Club appearance

Alex Waller will become only the 24th player in the Club’s history to hit a triple century of Northampton Saints appearances when he leads the side out against Wasps this Saturday (kick-off 4.30pm). 

Since records began in 1895, only 23 Saints have reached the impressive milestone, and now the 31-year-old’s name will be added to the illustrious list when the Kettering-born prop runs out at Franklin’s Gardens in front of almost 4,000 Saints supporters tomorrow. 

Api Ratuniyarawa also celebrates a Northampton milestone and will follow his captain out of the tunnel as he celebrates a century of appearances in Black, Green and Gold, while Courtney Lawes will run out in Saints colours for the first time in 2021 after overcoming a pectoral injury that has kept him out of Chris Boyd’s side since Boxing Day. 

Sam Matavesi and Paul Hill continue alongside Waller in the front row for the fourth week running, while Dave Ribbans mans an unchanged engine room alongside centurion Ratuniyarawa. 

Lawes’ return to the side sees him line-up at flanker, while Tom Wood shifts into the No.8 jersey to round off the pack with co-captain Lewis Ludlam.

Tom James partners the returning Dan Biggar in the half-back berths and Fraser Dingwall starts for the first time since mid-April, joining Matt Proctor in the centres. 

Ollie Sleightholme retains his place on the wing while Tommy Freeman moves to start Saturday’s clash at fullback, with Taqele Naiyaravoro returning to the other wing to complete the back three. 

Emmanuel Iyogun and Connor Tupai are set to make their first appearances of the season from the bench, while Piers Francis returns from injury to take his place amongst Saints’ replacements.

Gallagher Premiership, Round 20
Saturday 29 May 2021
Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 4.30pm

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

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

16 Mikey Haywood
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Ehren Painter
19 Alex Moon
20 Alex Coles
21 Connor Tupai
22 Piers Francis
23 Rory Hutchinson

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

Referee: Adam Leal
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank and John Meredith
No. 4: Alex Thomas
TMO: Graham Hughes

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