Bristol Bears v Northampton Saints: Team news for Friday's fixture at Ashton Gate

Tom Collins will reach a century of Saints appearances when Chris Boyd's side travel to face Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 12:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 12:09 pm
Owen Franks starts at Ashton Gate

The 26-year-old, who came through the Northampton Academy, will again start on the wing for his club's third Gallagher Premiership game of the new campaign.

Matt Proctor will be the man in the other wide berth, with Ahsee Tuala going to full-back as Harry Mallinder is rested.

Rory Hutchinson, who came off the bench to score in the 49-29 defeat at home to Harlequins last Saturday, gets a start at inside centre, with Piers Francis switching to 13.

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Henry Taylor replaces Alex Mitchell, who was released by England on Wednesday evening, but Mitchell is named on the bench.

In the pack, Owen Franks comes in for Paul Hill, while Francois van Wyk returns from injury and is named among the replacements.

Taqele Naiyaravoro is also on the bench as he gets set to make his first appearance of the season.

George Furbank (concussion), Teimana Harrison (calf), Mikey Haywood (knee), Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (achilles), Courtney Lawes (ankle), Ollie Sleightholme (ankle), Kayde Sylvester (Achilles) and JJ Tonks (shoulder) make up the injury list.

As for Bristol, they are without a host of big names, including the likes of Kyle Sinckler, Semi Radradra and Callum Sheedy, who are on international duty.

Bristol Bears: Purdy; Adeolokun, O'Conor, S Piutau (c), Leiua; Bedlow, Uren; Woolmore, Byrne, Lahiff; Attwood, Joyce; Heenan, D Thomas, Hughes.

Replacements: Capon, Y Thomas, Afoa, Holmes, Eadie, Randall, Eden, Fricker.

Saints: Tuala; Proctor, Francis, Hutchinson, Collins; Grayson, Taylor; Waller (cc), Marshall, Franks; Ratuniyarawa, Ribbans; Isiekwe, Ludlam (cc), Wood.

Replacements: Fish, van Wyk, Painter, Coles, Adendorff, Mitchell, Dingwall, Naiyaravoro.