Saints trio to start for Mallinder's England against Barbarians
Jim Mallinder has named three Saints players in the England XV's starting side to face the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday (kick-off 3.30pm).
Prop Ehren Painter, No.8 Teimana Harrison and scrum-half Alex Mitchell are all in from the off.And further Saints representation comes from the bench, with Paul Hill among the replacements.There is a real Northampton presence in the squad that is being managed by former Saints boss Jim Mallinder.Phil Dowson, who is currently forwards coach at Franklin's Gardens, is in charge of the England pack.Lewis Ludlam has been training with the England squad to gain experience and help with preparations.And Mallinder, who spent more than 10 years as Saints director of rugby between 2007 and 2017, said: "Preparations have gone really well this week. "It’s a new group of players and coaches but we have come together and had some really good training days and we are looking forward to the game on Sunday.“We have got real balance in the squad between some experienced Premiership players, some with international caps and a lot of youth that has come through the system and played at England U18 and U20 level, but also have played really well for their clubs.“This game will be massive for them and you can see their motivation and desire.
"They all have really deserved the opportunity this weekend.”Saints wing Taqele Naiyaravoro will start on the wing for the Barbarians this weekend.And when asked what to expect from the opposition, Mallinder said: “With the Barbarians you have got to expect the unexpected. "We have seen their squad full of world-class players and we know they will be doing world-class things on the pitch. "We have got to embrace that challenge but we have to concentrate on our own game and play as a team.”England XV starters15 Simon Hammersley (Newcastle Falcons)14 Piers O’Conor (Bristol Bears)13 Joe Marchant (Harlequins) 12 Johnny Williams (Newcastle Falcons)11 Josh Bassett (Wasps) 10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins) 9 Alex Mitchell (Saints)1 Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks) 2 Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby) 3 Ehren Painter (Saints)4 Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby) 5 Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks) captain6 Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins) 7 Ben Curry (Sale Sharks) 8 Teimana Harrison (Saints, 5 caps)Finishers16 Tommy Taylor (Wasps, 1 cap)17 Beno Obano (Bath Rugby) 18 Paul Hill (Saints, 5 caps)19 Will Spencer (Leicester Tigers)20 Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby) 21 Ben White (Leicester Tigers) 22 Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears)23 Ben Loader (London Irish)