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Northampton Saints team named for semi-final showdown against Exeter Chiefs

Northampton Saints team named for semi-final showdown against Exeter Chiefs

Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made four changes to his Northampton Saints side which will take on Exeter Chiefs in the Gallagher Premiership semi-finals on Saturday.

The men in Black, Green and Gold travel down to Sandy Park hoping to seal their first return to the Premiership Final since 2014’s historic triumph.

But standing in their way are the Chiefs, who finished the regular season top of the league table and are looking to book their place in a fourth straight Final.

All of Saints’ changes come in the pack with Teimana Harrison set to skipper the side in the No.8 jersey.

Lewis Ludlam remains at flanker, but Courtney Lawes has been shifted into the back row alongside him with Api Ratuniyarawa returning to the engine room to join Alex Moon.

Meanwhile Francois van Wyk, James Fish, and Ehren Painter all come into the front row to start, with Painter playing his first league match since February.

Northampton stick with the same back line that started last weekend’s clash at Sandy Park, with Ahsee Tuala continuing at fullback and Tom Collins and Taqele Naiyaravoro named on the wings.

Wales international Dan Biggar wears the No.10 jersey while Cobus Reinach starts at scrum-half, having scooped the Northampton Saints Supporters’ Player and Players’ Player of the Season awards at last night’s End of Season dinner at Franklin’s Gardens.

Rory Hutchinson and Piers Francis complete the line-up in the centres, with Saints opting for a six-two split on the bench as David Ribbans, Tom Wood, and Jamie Gibson are all named amongst the replacements.

EXETER CHIEFS v NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, semi-final
Saturday 25 May, 2019
Sandy Park, Exeter
Kick-off: 4.30pm

15 Ahsee Tuala
14 Tom Collins
13 Rory Hutchinson
12 Piers Francis
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 Dan Biggar
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Francois van Wyk
2 James Fish
3 Ehren Painter
4 Alex Moon
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Teimana Harrison (c)

Replacements:

16 Darren Dawidiuk
17 Alex Waller
18 Paul Hill
19 David Ribbans
20 Jamie Gibson
21 Tom Wood
22 Alex Mitchell
23 Luther Burrell

Not available for selection:
Andy Symons (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), Mikey Haywood (knee), Paddy Ryan (knee), Heinrich Brüssow (concussion), James Haskell (toe), George Furbank (concussion) and Reece Marshall (hamstring).

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