Lawes to lead Saints for Gallagher Premiership clash against Saracens

Lawes to lead Saints for Gallagher Premiership clash against Saracens

Courtney Lawes will captain Northampton Saints this Friday (29 March, kick-off: 7.45pm), as they welcome Saracens to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens under the lights.

Saints remain top of the Gallagher Premiership table heading into Round 14, despite a 52-21 loss at Bristol Bears last week; but with just four points separating them from fourth-placed Exeter Chiefs, Northampton must get back to winning ways if they are to remain top of the pile heading into the European break.

The men in Black, Green and Gold claimed victory when Saints last met Saracens in Round 8, with tries from Ollie Sleightholme and Alex Mitchell and eight points from Fin Smith’s boot giving Saints the 10-18 win that day – and Director of Rugby Phil Dowson will be hoping to replicate that victory on Friday as he makes seven changes to his Saints side for the visit of the reigning champions.

Curtis Langdon, Alex Moon, Tom Pearson and Juarno Augustus all return to the starting line-up in the pack, with captain Lawes the only remaining face from last week’s back row.

England international Alex Coles joins Moon in Saints’ engine room, while Emmanuel Iyogun and Trevor Davison stay on at loosehead and tighthead prop respectively against Saracens.

Tom James makes his return from injury to start alongside fly-half Smith in the half-backs this week, while Fraser Dingwall shifts into the starting XV to partner Burger Odendaal in Saints’ midfield.

Tommy Freeman makes his first appearance in Black, Green and Gold since the end of the Guinness Six Nations on Friday, as he joins fullback James Ramm and winger Sleightholme – the league’s top try-scorer with nine tries to his name already this term – in Saints’ back three.

And there is plenty of experience amongst Northampton’s replacements, with Sam Matavesi, Lewis Ludlam, Sam Graham and Alex Waller – who announced his retirement from professional rugby earlier this week – all set to enter the action.


Gallagher Premiership, Round 14

Friday 29 March, 2024

cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens

Kick-off: 7.45pm

15 James Ramm

14 Tommy Freeman

13 Burger Odendaal

12 Fraser Dingwall

11 Ollie Sleightholme

10 Fin Smith

9 Tom James

1 Emmanuel Iyogun

2 Curtis Langdon

3 Trevor Davison

4 Alex Moon

5 Alex Coles

6 Courtney Lawes (c)

7 Tom Pearson

8 Juarno Augustus


16 Sam Matavesi

17 Alex Waller

18 Ed Prowse

19 Temo Mayanavanua

20 Lewis Ludlam

21 Sam Graham

22 Archie McParland

23 Tom Litchfield

Not available for selection:

Callum Braley, George Furbank, Paul Hill, Rory Hutchinson, Elliot Millar Mills and Alex Mitchell.

Referee: Luke Pearce

Assistant referees: Joe James and Andrew Jackson

No.4: James Clarke

TMO: Ian Tempest

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