Premiership: Northampton Saints v London Irish (Fri)


Northampton Saints scrum-half Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell will start at scrum-half for Northampton
Venue: Franklin’s Gardens Date: Friday, 16 April Kick-off: 19:45 BST Coverage: Updates on BBC local radio and live scores on the BBC Sport website

Northampton welcome back George Furbank and Fraser Dingwall for their respective 50th club appearances when they host London Irish.

Boss Chris Boyd makes six changes in all from their European Challenge Cup quarter-final exit against Ulster.

Blair Cowan will celebrate his 150th appearance for London Irish and captain the side from the back row.

Allan Dell, Chunya Munga and James Stokes also return for the Exiles, who lost at Bath in Europe last Friday.

Saints full-back Furbank has shaken off a calf problem to return at the expense of Tommy Freeman, who has sustained a knee injury.

Just a point and a place separate the two sides before this game, with Saints in fifth and Irish sixth.

A win for either could put them in the top four with six games to play.

Northampton: Furbank; Sleightholme, Dingwall, Francis, Collins; Biggar, Mitchell; Auterac, Haywood, Hill, Ribbans, Moon, Isiekwe, Ludlam (capt), Harrison.

Replacements: S Matavesi, Waller, Painter, Coles, Wood, James, Hutchinson, Tuala.

London Irish: Parton; Loader, Stokes, Hepetema, Hassell-Collins; Jackson, Phipps; Dell, Matu’u, Chawatama, Munga, Simmons, Donnell, Cowan (capt), Tuisue.

Replacements: Cornish, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 George Nott, 20 Matt Rogerson, 21 Ben Meehan, P Cokanasiga, Homer.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU).



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