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Waller to make 350th Saints appearance at Irish

Alex Waller is set to make his 350th Northampton Saints appearance at the Gtech Community Stadium, as the men in Black, Green and Gold head to London Irish. 

The prop – who is already the Club’s record appearance holder in the professional era – will hit the milestone on Saturday as he starts in Northampton’s front row for the eighteenth time this season.

Phil Dowson’s team is also bolstered by the return of their internationals, with skipper Lewis Ludlam returning to lead out the side alongside England teammates David Ribbans and Alex Mitchell – while new signing Trevor Davison gets straight into the action as he makes his debut for the Club in Brentford. 

Saints have won both of their away Premiership clashes against Irish since the Exiles gained promotion back into the league in 2020 and Northampton will need to produce another victory on the road to retain their spot in the league’s top four. 

Prop Davison packs down at tighthead in Saints’ front row alongside hooker Robbie Smith and loosehead Waller, while Ribbans returns to Northampton’s engine room to partner Alex Moon. 

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto shifts to flanker for this weekend’s match, with captain Ludlam and No. 8 Juarno Augustus completing the pack. 

Mitchell returns from international duty to make his first appearance in a Saints shirt since January, joining fly-half Fin Smith in Northampton’s half-back berths.

And George Furbank returns from injury to start at fullback this weekend, while James Ramm shifts out to the wing alongside Tommy Freeman and Fraser Dingwall and Rory Hutchinson partner in Saints’ centres. 

Amongst Northampton’s replacements, the likes of Paul Hill, Angus Scott-Young and Tom James will hope to make an impact from the bench.

LONDON IRISH vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Gallagher Premiership, Round 21
Saturday 25 March 2023
Gtech Community Stadium
Kick-off: 5.30pm

15 George Furbank
14 James Ramm
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Tommy Freeman
10 Fin Smith
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller – 350th Saints appearance
2 Robbie Smith
3 Trevor Davison – Northampton Saints debut
4 David Ribbans
5 Alex Moon
6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
7 Lewis Ludlam (c)
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements:
16 Tom Cruse
17 Ethan Waller
18 Paul Hill
19 Angus Scott-Young
20 Sam Graham
21 Tom James
22 Tom Litchfield
23 Tom Collins

Not considered for selection:
Emmanuel Iyogun, Courtney Lawes, Matt Proctor and Ollie Sleightholme.

International duty:
Sam Matavesi (Navy).

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe
Assistant referees: Harry Walbaum and Wayne Falla
TMO: Dean Richards

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