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Premiership Rugby

Leeds change two for key Saints trip

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The Tykes have made two changes to their starting XV for the Franklin's Gardens match, with tighthead prop Matt Holt taking the place of Scotland's Gavin Kerr, while Samoan Isaac Feaunati comes in at No.8 for Wales new-boy Alix Popham.

Sharks-bound centre Braam van Straaten and England lock Tom Palmer complete an ever-present run of 22 Premiership matches this season, in a match which coach Phil Davies has no illusions about.

"Their pack is particularly fearsome, and it is marshalled around the field by Matt Dawson often with good effect," warned Davies.

"Add to that the accuracy of Paul Grayson and the pace and power of the likes of Ben Cohen, Peter Jorgenson and John Leslie in the backline and it is no wonder people are still tipping them for an outside chance of snatching a place in the play-offs.

"A lot of the talk this week has been about qualification for the Heineken Cup, but we must be careful that we don't start thinking we are there and let go what we have created this year on the last day of the season.

"It has been a long season, but I have to pay credit to the way the players have stuck to their job, and last week we showed signs of the fluency in our play that we had at the start of the season.

"To qualify automatically for the Heineken Cup would be an incredible achievement in our second season [in the Premiership], but it has only come about through hard work and determination, and we must make sure that we continue that until the final whistle of the season or else it could so easily slip away."

Leeds Tykes: 15 Diego Albanese, 14 George Harder, 13 Tristan Davies, 12 Braam van Straaten, 11 Winston Stanley, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Alan Dickens, 8 Isaac Feaunati, 7 Dan Hyde, 6 Cameron Mather, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Chris Murphy, 3 Matt Holt, 2 Mark Regan, 1 Mike Shelley (captain).Replacements: 16 Gavin Kerr, 17 Rob Rawlinson, 18 Stewart Campbell, 19 Alix Popham, 20 Derek Hegarty, 21 Craig Emmerson, 22 Chris Hall.

Kick-off: 15.00 (14.00 GMT)


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