Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers: Team news for derby day at the Gardens

Rory Hutchinson is the man tasked with solving Saints' full-back dilemma against Leicester Tigers on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

By Tom Vickers
Friday, 29th October 2021, 12:13 pm
Rory Hutchinson scored against Worcester last Friday
Rory Hutchinson scored against Worcester last Friday

The black, green and gold are without all three of their first-team 15s, with Tommy Freeman and George Furbank on England duty and Ahsee Tuala unavailable.

That means Hutchinson, who has only worn the Northampton 15 shirt once, in a 54-28 Premiership Rugby Cup defeat to Saracens in October 2019, makes the move from centre to full-back.

Matt Proctor takes Hutchinson's centre role as the Kiwi star returns from a hand injury in a timely boost for Saints.

Tom Collins is also back in the starting 15 as he lines up on the wing.

Courtnall Skosan continues in the other wide berth after scoring a hat-trick on debut against Worcester Warriors last Friday.

Ehren Painter replaces Paul Hill at tighthead, while Tom Wood and Juarno Augustus come in to replace England duo Courtney Lawes and Lewis Ludlam.

Saints have abandoned the 6:2 split on the bench for a more traditional 5:3, meaning James Grayson and Tom Litchfield are named as replacements.

Alex Waller captains the team in the absence of Ludlam.

Freeman, Furbank, Lawes, Ludlam, Matthew Arden, Callum Burns, Piers Francis, Oisin Heffernan, George Hendy, Dani Long-Martinez, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Ollie Newman, Ollie Sleightholme, JJ Tonks and Tuala.are all unavailable for selection.

As for Leicester, they hand a start to former Saints prop Francois van Wyk as he comes in for captain Ellis Genge, who is with England.

Freddie Burns gets the nod at full-back as Freddie Steward is also with the Red Rose.

George Ford will skipper the Tigers this weekend.

Saints: Hutchinson; Skosan, Proctor, Dingwall, Collins; Biggar, Mitchell; Waller (c), Matavesi, Painter; Ribbans, Ratuniyarawa; Wood, Harrison, Augustus.

Replacements: Haywood, Auterac, Hill, Moon, Coles, Lomani, Grayson, Litchfield.

Leicester Tigers: Burns; Potter, Moroni, Kelly, Nadolo; Ford (c), Wigglesworth; van Wyk, Montoya, Cole; Wells, Snyman; Chessum, van Staden, Wiese.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Leatigaga, Heyes, Green, Reffell, van Poortvliet, Hegarty, Murimurivalu.