Dragons v Northampton Saints: Full team news for Saturday's game at Rodney Parade

Dan Biggar and David Ribbans are on a lengthy injury list as Saints travel to face the Dragons in the last 16 of the Challenge Cup on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 12:12 pm
Harry Mallinder starts at full-back

Chris Boyd's side will be without a host of key players, with Biggar (abdominal) and Ribbans (face) joined on the sidelines by Owen Franks (foot), George Furbank (calf), Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Achilles), Courtney Lawes (pectoral), Lewis Ludlam (cheek), Matt Proctor (calf), Api Ratuniyarawa (shoulder) and Kayde Sylvester (Achilles).

However, the Saints side that will go to Rodney Parade is still full of strength, with a powerful bench including the likes of Alex Waller, Sam Matavesi and Shaun Adendorff.

Harry Mallinder returns to the starting 15 at full-back, with Taqele Naiyaravoro and Fraser Dingwall also coming in.

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In the pack, Nick Auterac, Mike Haywood, Alex Moon, Alex Coles and JJ Tonks all come into the starting 15.

The likes of Tommy Freeman, Tom James and Paul Hill, who all starred against Worcester Warriors last weekend, will not feature against the Dragons.

Prop Oisin Heffernan, who joined from Nottingham earlier this season, is in line for a Saints debut from the bench.

If Saints can win in Wales this weekend, they would set up a home quarter-final against Harlequins or Ulster next Saturday.

Saints will be wearing black armbands at Rodney Parade on Saturday in tribute to former players Frank Packman and Clive Patrick Daniels, who both sadly passed away in recent days.

Both wore the black, green and gold jersey on more than 300 occasions - two of only 23 players in the club's history to do so.

For the Dragons, centre Jamie Roberts and hooker Elliot Dee both return to the starting line-up.

Wales international Dee replaces the injured Richard Hibbard (hand) up front as boss Dean Ryan makes four changes to his starting line-up.

Roberts is back to join forces with Aneurin Owen in midfield while there is also a recall for scrum half Rhodri Williams, who captains the team in Europe.

The final change to the starting team is a call-up for experienced prop Greg Bateman – Brok Harris misses out on the clash due to injury.

The bench sees a place for hooker Taylor Davies, who joins the region on a short-term loan deal from Scarlets.

Prop Josh Reynolds and back row Dan Baker also return among the replacements for the eagerly anticipated clash as Dragons return home.

Dragons: J Williams, Holmes, Owen, Roberts, Hewitt, S Davies, R Williams (c), Bateman, Dee, Fairbrother, Davies, Screech, Wainwright, Keddie, Moriarty.

Replacements: T Davies, Reynolds, Brown, Carter, Baker, Bertranou, Lloyd, Tompkins.

Saints: Mallinder; Sleightholme, Dingwall, Hutchinson, Naiyaravoro; Grayson, Mitchell; Auterac, Haywood, Painter; Moon, Coles; Isiekwe, Tonks, Harrison (c).

Replacements: Matavesi, Waller, Heffernan, Bean, Adendorff, Taylor, Tuala, Collins.