Ludlam part of formidable set of Saints replacements at Sandy Park

Saints have been handed a big boost as Lewis Ludlam has been made available to feature in the big Gallagher Premiership game at Exeter Chiefs on Sunday (kick-off 1pm).

By Tom Vickers
Friday, 21st February 2020, 11:53 am
Updated Friday, 21st February 2020, 12:06 pm
Lewis Ludlam is available for Saints at Exeter
Lewis Ludlam is available for Saints at Exeter

Ludlam is not needed for England's Six Nations clash with Ireland at Twickenham on the same afternoon and will be able to take his place on the Saints bench at Sandy Park.

The flanker is part of a formidable list of replacements, which also includes the likes of Cobus Reinach and Taqele Naiyaravoro.

Ben Glynn, the Ospreys lock who joined Saints on loan earlier this week, is also on the bench.

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Boss Chris Boyd hands a first start of the season to Alex Mitchell at scrum-half, while Ahsee Tuala comes in for Naiyaravoro on the wing.

Centre Andy Symons replaces Rory Hutchinson, who is on the Scotland bench for their clash with Italy.

There is a whole new front row with Francois van Wyk, James Fish and Paul Hill, who has recovered from the illness that kept him out last weekend, starting.

Alex Waller, Mike Haywood and Owen Franks are all on the bench.

Lewis Bean comes in for Alex Moon, who suffered a knee injury against Bristol last weekend, in the second row.

JJ Tonks returns from a neck problem and replaces Mitch Eadie in the back row, with Tom Wood shifting from seven to six.

While Saints have made eight changes to the team that lost 20-14 at home to Bristol last weekend, Exeter have also altered their squad after their win at Gloucester.

All three changes to their starting line-up come in the back division.

Phil Dollman is in at full-back for Stuart Hogg, who will skipper Scotland against Italy.

Tom Hendrickson is brought into the midfield alongside Ian Whitten, who will be making his 150th Premiership appearance.

And Joe Simmonds returns from his three-game ban to fake over the captaincy and No.10 role from Gareth Steenson.

On the bench, England international Alec Hepburn is back after recovering from an ankle injury, Don Armand is given the nod ahead of Matt Kvesic, while Max Bodilly fills the void left by Dollman’s elevation into the starting 15.

Exeter Chiefs: Dollman; O'Flaherty, Whitten, Hendrickson, Woodburn; J Simmonds (c), White; Moon, Taione, Williams; Kirsten, J Hill; Ewers, Vermeulen, S Simmonds.

Replacements: Poole, Hepburn, Pieretto, Skinner, Armand, Maunder, Steenson, Bodilly.

Saints: Mallinder; Tuala, Proctor, Symons, Collins; Grayson, Mitchell; van Wyk, Fish, Hill; Coles, Bean; Wood, Tonks, Harrison (c).

Replacements: Haywood, Waller, O Franks, Glynn, Ludlam, Reinach, Dingwall, Naiyaravoro.