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Premiership Rugby

Saints make five changes for Falcons game

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Former Scotland man John Leslie returns at inside centre in place of Chris Hyndman and Johnny Howard starts at scrum-half ahead of Mark Robinson.

In the front row, props Brett Sturgess and Chris Budgen line up either side of hooker Dan Richmond in place of Renaud Peillard and Robbie Morris.

In the back row, Mark Connors returns from injury in place of Mark Soden.

Falcons, meanwhile, will have the option of playing former South Africa captain Mark Andrews despite him receiving a red card last weekend.

The influential lock has appealed against the card, but an Rugby Footbal Union (RFU) disciplinary panel called for more evidence after the match video of the incident concerned proved inconclusive. Tuesday's hearing has been adjourned until next week, and Andrews will be allowed to play in the meantime.

Northampton Saints have made representations to the RFU on the grounds that a player would be unable to play an international game in the same circumstances, but the regulations permit him to play club games.

Northampton Saints: 15 Nick Beal, 14 John Clarke, 13 Mark Tucker, 12 John Leslie, 11 Bruce Reihana, 10 Shane Drahm, 9 Johnny Howard, 8 Andrew Blowers, 7 Darren Fox, 6 Mark Connors, 5 Rob Hunter, 4 Matt Lord, 3 Chris Budgen, 2 Dan Richmond, 1 Brett Sturgess.Replacements: (from) Matt Miles, Robbie Morris, Jon Golding, Jon Phillips, Grant Seely, Mark Soden, Mark Robinson, James Brooks, Chris Hyndman, Jon Sleightholme.

Kick-off: 16.00 (15.00 GMT)

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