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Northampton Rugby Football Club

Two changes for Saints ahead of Newcastle clash

Posted: 25/04/19 by Northampton Rugby Football Club

Luther Burrell and Tom Collins both return to Northampton Saints’ starting XV this Friday as Chris Boyd’s side look to press on towards the Gallagher Premiership’s top-four places.

The men in Black, Green and Gold travel up to Kingston Park to take on Newcastle Falcons in search of their third straight away victory in the league.

Saints will be hoping to avenge a narrow last-gasp defeat to Falcons at Franklin’s Gardens back in December, with the race for knock-out rugby hitting fever pitch with just three rounds of the regular Gallagher Premiership season remaining.

One of only two changes to the Northampton side that beat Harlequins 20-19 a fortnight ago at Twickenham Stoop, winger Collins replaces the injured George Furbank, and lines up in the back three alongside Taqele Naiyaravoro and Ahsee Tuala.

Meanwhile Burrell comes into Saints’ midfield and plays inside Rory Hutchinson, with Dan Biggar and Cobus Reinach continuing in the half-back berths.

But Boyd’s forwards are completely unchanged from the side’s last outing; Teimana Harrison leading out the line-up in the No.8 jersey, while flankers Jamie Gibson and Tom Wood pack down either side of him.

Francois van Wyk, Paul Hill and hooker Reece Marshall make up the front row for Saints, and locks Api Ratuniyarawa and Courtney Lawes complete the side in the engine room.

“It’s knock-out rugby for everybody at the moment,” said Boyd. “I don’t think there are very many teams that can sit back and say they don’t have anything to play for the next three games – they are crucial.

“We obviously try to win every game we play, so we’re focused on going up to Newcastle which is a tough place to take home points from.

“They are battling so we know we can’t afford to get it wrong on Friday, but we’ve had a really good training week and our attitude is positive, so we’re confident we can haul some points out of the game.”

NEWCASTLE FALCONS vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTS

Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 20

Friday 26 April, 2019

Kingston Park

Kick-off: 7.45pm

15 Ahsee Tuala

14 Tom Collins

13 Rory Hutchinson

12 Luther Burrell

11 Taqele Naiyaravoro

10 Dan Biggar

9 Cobus Reinach

1 Francois van Wyk

2 Reece Marshall

3 Paul Hill

4 Api Ratuniyarawa

5 Courtney Lawes

6 Jamie Gibson

7 Tom Wood

8 Teimana Harrison (c)

Replacements:

16 Samson Ma’asi

17 Alex Waller

18 Ben Franks

19 Alex Coles

20 Devante Onojaife

21 Alex Mitchell

22 James Grayson

23 Andrew Kellaway

Not available for selection:

Andy Symons (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), Mikey Haywood (knee), Dylan Hartley (knee), Paddy Ryan (knee), Fraser Dingwall (ankle), David Ribbans (ankle), James Fish (concussion), Heinrich Brüssow (concussion), Alex Moon (ankle), James Craig (hamstring), Lewis Ludlam (shoulder), Nafi Tuitavake (elbow), Ollie Sleightholme (ankle), Piers Francis (knee) and George Furbank (concussion).

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