Wasps v Northampton Saints: Full team news for Saturday's game at the Ricoh Arena

Saints have turned to youth for Saturday's game at Wasps, with Tommy Freeman and Ollie Sleightholme starting at the Ricoh Arena.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 12:08 pm
Ollie Sleightholme

James Grayson also gets the nod in a backline that shows three changes from the 31-26 win at Gloucester last Saturday.

Grayson comes in for Biggar, who is on Six Nations duty with Wales, while Sleightholme, who will be making his first appearance since the defeat to London Irish on January 24, 2020, comes in for knee injury victim Matt Proctor.

With George Furbank also forced to miss out, as he continues to go through concussion protocols, Freeman, who impressed as his replacement from the bench last weekend, starts at full-back.

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There is just one change in the pack as Alex Moon replaces Api Ratuniyarawa, who is ruled out with a calf injury.

Tom Wood is set to return to action after his three-week suspension reached its conclusion as he is named among the replacements.

And Ahsee Tuala is also on the bench, having recovered from his recent battle with Covid-19.

Teimana Harrison (hand), Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Achilles), Manny Iyogun (ankle) and Kayde Sylvester (Achilles) remain sidelined.

As for Wasps, they have a host of absences to deal with and they make seven changes to the team that was well beaten by Harlequins last weekend.

Former Saints prop Kieran Brookes comes in to make his 150th Premiership appearance and 50th Wasps appearance.

Ben Harris joins Brookes in the front row, as he starts at loosehead prop, to make his 50th Premiership appearance for Wasps.

With Thomas Young out injured, Brad Shields is named as captain for the third time in his Wasps career, and Gabriel Oghre replaces Young at openside flanker.

Will Rowlands has joined Wales’ preparations for the Six Nations and is replaced by Tim Cardall, who is fresh from signing a contract extension with the club this week.

There are also three changes in the backline, as Charlie Atkinson starts at fly-half, Rob Miller comes in at full-back and Sam Wolstenholme is at nine.

Amongst the replacements, Theo Vukasinovic is in line for his first appearance of the season and Ben Vellacott returns to the matchday 23.

Paolo Odogwu, Dan Robson, Jack Willis and Tom West remain away with England for their Six Nations campaign.

Wasps: Miller; Kibirige, Fekitoa, Gopperth, Minozzi; Atkinson, Wolstenholme; Harris, Cruse, Brookes; Cardall, Gaskell; Shields (c), Oghre, T Willis.

Replacements: Taylor, McIntyre, Toomaga-Allen, Vukasinovic, Morris, Vellacott, Umaga, Le Bourgeois.

Saints: Freeman; Sleightholme, Hutchinson, Francis, Naiyaravoro; Grayson, Mitchell; Waller (cc), Matavesi, Hill; Ribbans, Moon; Isiekwe, Ludlam (cc), Adendorff.

Replacements: Haywood, van Wyk, Franks, Coles, Wood, James, Dingwall, Tuala.