New signing Waldouck makes Franklin’s Gardens debut as Northampton Saints take on Leinster

Picture by Kelly Cooper
Picture by Kelly Cooper
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SUMMER signing Dom Waldouck will run out as a Saints player at Franklin’s Gardens for the first time tomorrow after being named in the team to face Leinster.

The centre, who has moved to Northampton from Wasps, will start at 12, with last season’s players’ and supporters’ player of the year George Pisi at 13 in a strong line-up.

Waldouck’s fellow new boys James Wilson, Ken Pisi, James Wilson and Luther Burrell, who scored a try in last Friday’s 30-28 defeat to Zebre at Millau, are named on the Saints’ bench.

Also on the replacements list is Tom Wood, meaning he could get some game time for the first time since sustaining a foot injury against Wasps on March 24.

Saints could give 31-year-old trialist Rhys Oakley a run-out, too. The former Leeds Carnegie No.8, who has won two caps for Wales, will hope to make an instant impact should he be introduced.

Meanwhile, Leinster have made several changes to the side which beat Gloucester 33-22 last weekend as they step up their preparations ahead of the start of the new competitive season.

The team again has a youthful look but with the added experience of Captain Leo Cullen and fellow Ireland internationals Isaac Boss and Devin Toner.

Leo Auva’a is joined in the back-row by Jordi Murphy and Dominic Ryan who both featured off the bench in Tallaght Stadium last weekend.

Jack McGrath is joined in the front row by a mix of youth and experience in the shape of Academy prop Martin Moore and double Heineken Cup-winning hooker Richardt Strauss.

In the backline, Boss links up with Noel Reid – one of six Academy products - at half back while Jordan Coghlan makes his first start at inside centre alongside Brendan Macken.

South African loose-head prop Heinke van der Merwe is included on the bench after the recent birth of his second Irish-born son, Eli.

Saints: Foden, Artemyev, G Pisi, Waldouck, Diggin, Lamb, Dickson; Tonga’uiha, Hartley, Mujati, Sorenson, Day, Manoa, Harrison, Dowson.

Replacements: Armstrong, Burrell, Cato, Doran-Jones, Haywood, Hicks, Hopley, May, McMillan, Mercey, Myler, Nutley, Oakley, K Pisi, Roberts, Waller, Wilson, Wood.

Leinster: Conway, Boyle, Macken, Coghlan, Coghlan-Murray, Reid, Boss; McGrath, Strauss, Moore, Cullen, Toner, Ryan, Murphy, Auva’a.

Replacements: T Sexton, van der Merwe, Hagan, Denton, Marshall, Cooney, Madigan, O’Shea, Carr, O’Connell.