Northampton vs Newcastle LV= Cup preview

Northampton Saints host Harlequins at Franklins Gardens

Northampton Saints have named Joel Hodgson to make his debut in a freshened up team to play Newcastle in the Anglo Welsh LV=Cup clash on Saturday.

The former Falcon lines up at scrum-half as one of 14 changes to the starting line-up from that which began last weekend’s Champions Cup win over the Ospreys.

Phil Dowson captains the home side.

Meanwhile, Alesana Tuilagi returns to the Newcastle Falcons starting line-up as the club launch their LV= Cup campaign.

Tuilagi is one of a host of names making his return to competitive action, as director of rugby Dean Richards names a side showing seven personnel changes from last Fridays 26-30 triumph over Newport Gwent Dragons in the Challenge Cup.

The Samoan star lines up on the left wing in a completely overhauled back division, which sees Lee Smith move from wing to full-back, Tom Catterick take up position on the right wing while Danny Barnes and Jamie Helleur occupy the centre berths.

Rory Clegg earns the fly-half jersey for the third match in succession while Mike Blair comes into the side at scrum-half in place of Ruki Tipuna.

In the forwards, Scott Wilson comes in at tighthead prop for Kieran Brookes, with the latter away with the England squad ahead of the November Tests.

The front row is otherwise unchanged with Rob Vickers and Rob Hawkins remaining in situ, while in the second row, the impressive Calum Green replaces Sean Robinson, who made an assured debut for the club in Newport.

In the back row, Andy Saull remains at openside flanker and once again captains the side, while Dan Temm takes over the blindside flank from Will Welch.

Completing the line up, Tongan back row Uili Kolo’ofai makes his first competitive start of the campaign at number eight, after impressing in his run outs during pre-season.

Date: Saturday, November 1
Venue: Franklin’s Gardens
Kickoff: 16:00 (GMT)
Match Officials
Referee:
Andrew Jackson
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey, Simon Mcconnell

Teams

Saints: 15 Tom Collins, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 Tom Stephenson, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Howard Packman, 10 Will Hooley, 9 Joel Hodgson, 8 Jon Fisher, 7 Teimana Harrison, 6 Phil Dowson (c), 5 Christian Day, 4 James Craig, 3 Gareth Denman, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Ethan Waller

Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Alex Woolford, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22 Harry Mallinder, 23 Josh Skelcey

Falcons: 15 Lee Smith, 14 Tom Catterick, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Uili Kolo’ofai, 7 Andy Saull (c), 6 Dan Temm, 5 Scott Macleod, 4 Calum Green, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 Rob Vickers

Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19 Sean Robinson, 20 Dom Barrow, 21 Andy Davies, 22 Juan Pablo Socino, 23 Simon Hammersley

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