London Irish v Northampton Saints: Full team news for Saturday's crucial clash

Saints will welcome back all of their Six Nations stars for Saturday's crucial Gallagher Premiership game at London Irish (kick-off 3pm).

By Tom Vickers
Friday, 25th March 2022, 12:05 pm
Updated Friday, 25th March 2022, 12:06 pm

Courtney Lawes and Dan Biggar return after skippering England and Wales respectively, while George Furbank is also back after starting at full-back against France last Saturday.

More good news comes in the form of Lewis Ludlam, who is fit to start and skipper Saints after recovering from the rib injury suffered in the Six Nations opener at Scotland.

And Tommy Freeman, who made his comeback from a hamstring injury in the Premiership Rugby Cup win at Saracens last weekend, is able to take his place on the bench.

Saints are without two talented young props though, with Manny Iyogun and Ehren Painter ruled out.

Painter may struggle to play again this season as boss Chris Boyd confirmed earlier this week that he has suffered a significant bicep injury.

That means Paul Hill, who will be making his 150th Saints appearance, starts at tighthead, while Alex Waller is at loosehead.

Matt Proctor remains sidelined, while Piers Francis has again been added to the unavailable list, so Saints go with Fraser Dingwall and Rory Hutchinson at centre this weekend.

Lewis Ludlam

As for London Irish, Will Goodrick-Clarke makes his 50th appearance for the club and is joined in the front row by Agustin Creevy and Ollie Hoskins.

Chunya Munga and Rob Simmons are named in the second row.

Matt Rogerson captains the team from the six jersey and is joined in the back row by Juan Martin Gonzalez and Seán O’Brien.

Nick Phipps and Paddy Jackson are the half-back duo, with Benhard van Rensburg and Lucio Cinti in the centres.

Ollie Hassell-Collins, Kyle Rowe and James Stokes start in the back three.

London Irish: Stokes; Rowe, Cinti, van Rensburg, Hassell-Collins; Jackson, Phipps; Goodrick-Clarke, Creevy, Hoskins; Munga, Simmons; Rogerson (c), Gonzalez, O’Brien.

Replacements: Cornish, Gigena, Green, Nott, Pearson, Cracknell, White, Parton.

Saints: Furbank; Skosan, Dingwall, Hutchinson, Collins; Biggar, Mitchell; Waller, Matavesi, Hill; Ribbans, Ratuniyarawa; Lawes, Ludlam (c), Augustus.

Replacements: Haywood, Auterac, Carey, Moon, Coles, James, Litchfield, Freeman.