Teams Up: Saints v Gloucester
By Saint Ted
December 27 2019
Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made just three changes to his side as Northampton Saints welcome Gloucester Rugby to a sold-out Franklin’s Gardens this weekend.
Piers Francis, Tom Wood and Francois van Wyk all return to the starting line-up for the men in Black, Green and Gold, while both Rory Hutchinson and Lewis Ludlam will bring up a half-century of appearances for the Club on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).
The hosts will be looking to preserve their 100 percent home winning record in the Gallagher Premiership this season, having won their last four league matches at Franklin’s Gardens – but the Cherry & Whites were the last visiting side to leave Northampton with a victory in the competition back in April.
England international Francis returns at inside centre in an otherwise unchanged back-line for Saints, with Hutchinson switching outside into the 13 jersey.
George Furbank, Tom Collins and Taqele Naiyaravoro are all named again in Northampton’s back three, with Dan Biggar and Cobus Reinach hoping to run the show from the half-back berths.
Loosehead prop van Wyk comes into the front row to join Mikey Haywood and Ehren Painter, with the only other change to the pack seeing Wood – who missed Saints’ defeat to Sale Sharks through illness – return to take his spot at flanker alongside Ludlam.
That means that while Alex Moon keeps his place at lock, Courtney Lawes shifts back into the engine room, and Club co-captain Teimana Harrison leads out Northampton in the number eight jersey.
Saints are also given a boost amongst their replacements, with the likes of lock David Ribbans and scrum-half Henry Taylor set to make their injury returns from the bench.
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs GLOUCESTER RUGBY
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round Seven
Saturday 28 December 2019
15 George Furbank
14 Tom Collins
13 Rory Hutchinson
12 Piers Francis
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 Dan Biggar
9 Cobus Reinach
1 Francois van Wyk
2 Mikey Haywood
3 Ehren Painter
4 Alex Moon
5 Courtney Lawes
6 Tom Wood
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Teimana Harrison (c)
16 Sam Matavesi
17 Alex Waller
18 Paul Hill
19 Api Ratuniyarawa
20 David Ribbans
21 Henry Taylor
22 Andrew Symons
23 Ahsee Tuala
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Jonathan Healy & Tim Wigglesworth
TMO: Sean Davey
Not available for selection:
Alex Mitchell (knee), Reuben Bird-Tulloch (hand), Tommy Freeman (illness), Jamie Gibson (ankle), Ollie Sleightholme (head), and Matt Proctor (head).
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.
COME ON YOU SAINTS!
Church's Stand season ticket holder
Harry not being rushed back.
Strong balanced squad
Tom Marshall; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Louis Rees-Zammit; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Jamal Ford-Robinson; 4. Alex Craig, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ben Morgan
Todd Gleave, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Fraser Balmain, 19. Gerbrandt Grobler, 20. Freddie Clarke, 21. Joe Simpson, 22. Billy Twelvetrees, 23. Matt Banahan
Unavailable for selection:
Ruan Dreyer, Corné Fourie, James Hanson, Jaco Kriel, Val Rapava Ruskin, Ed Slater, Ollie Thorley, Owen Williams
I agree WP, Taylor has been immense for us. He has hit the ground running for his Saint's career.
Agreed re Taylor, but I am devastated at the seriousness of Mitchell's injury. Goodness knows I hope he comes back as good as he left us.
I wouldn’t say devastated but this was Alex’s year to kick on, with Cobus away at the World Cup, big England re think of squad for next World Cup, he really did have a huge opportunity to show everyone how good he really is... he will just have to wait a bit longer, as they say form in temporary, class is permanent