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Falcons forward heads to France

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Thursday 24 November 2022

Lock-forward George Merrick has left Newcastle Falcons to join a French club with immediate effect.

The 30-year-old has made 13 appearances since joining from Worcester Warriors in the summer of 2021, and leaves with the thanks and best wishes of the club.

Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder said: “George has been offered an exciting playing opportunity over in France and we wish him all the best for his move.

“He has been a positive presence around our squad during his time here, and on behalf of the entire coaching team I’d like to thank him for his contribution.”

Merrick said: “I’ve loved my time in Newcastle with a great bunch of boys, and I’m looking forward now to this new challenge.”

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


Premiership

Tom Wood to captain Barbarians for showdown with Saints

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Northampton Saints legend Tom Wood will lead out Barbarian F.C. at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for tomorrow afternoon’s clash between the two sides.The world-famous invitational side will lock horns with the men in Black, Green and Gold for the first time in history on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm), and with Saints close to full strength for the exhibition match, the BaaBaas have selected a side packed with star quality to run out in Northampton.Wood captains the team and lines up in the No.8 jersey alongside Cardiff Rugby flanker Olly Robinson and former Wasps back row Ben Morris.Elliott Stooke and Graham Kitchener – formerly of Wasps and Worcester Warriors respectively – are selected in the engine room, with an explosive front row including Scotland international Murray McCallum, All Black Hika Elliot, and Stormers tighthead Brok Harris.Former England international Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half, with Gareth Simpson in the No.9 jersey and Wales international Owen Williams filling a second playmaker role at inside centre.Outside the former Worcester player in midfield is another Saints legend in Luther Burrell, who runs out at the Gardens berth for one final appearance in the UK before making the switch to Japan.And the Barbarians’ back-three is full of pace and power with England’s Marland Yarde and Zach Kibirige set to start on the wings, with Wales international Jonah Holmes completing the line-up at fullback.A limited number of tickets remain for the fixture, starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase now.BARBARIAN F.C. SIDE TO FACE NORTHAMPTON SAINTSSaturday 26 November 2022cinch Stadium at Franklin’s GardensKick-off: 3pm15 Jonah Holmes14 Zach Kibirige13 Luther Burrell12 Owen Williams11 Marland Yarde10 Danny Cipriani9 Gareth Simpson1 Murray McCallum2 Hika Elliot3 Brok Harris4 Graham Kitchener5 Elliott Stooke6 Ben Morris7 Olly Robinson8 Tom Wood (c)Replacements:16 Tevita Ikanivere17 Ben Harris18 Elliot Millar-Mills19 Lloyd Ashley20 Will Boyde21 Francois Hougaard22 Mali Hingano23 Perry Humphreys

Northampton Saints legend Tom Wood will lead out Barbarian F.C. at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for tomorrow afternoon’s clash between the two sides.

The world-famous invitational side will lock horns with the men in Black, Green and Gold for the first time in history on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm), and with Saints close to full strength for the exhibition match, the BaaBaas have selected a side packed with star quality to run out in Northampton.

Wood captains the team and lines up in the No.8 jersey alongside Cardiff Rugby flanker Olly Robinson and former Wasps back row Ben Morris.

Elliott Stooke and Graham Kitchener – formerly of Wasps and Worcester Warriors respectively – are selected in the engine room, with an explosive front row including Scotland international Murray McCallum, All Black Hika Elliot, and Stormers tighthead Brok Harris.

Former England international Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half, with Gareth Simpson in the No.9 jersey and Wales international Owen Williams filling a second playmaker role at inside centre.

Outside the former Worcester player in midfield is another Saints legend in Luther Burrell, who runs out at the Gardens berth for one final appearance in the UK before making the switch to Japan.

And the Barbarians’ back-three is full of pace and power with England’s Marland Yarde and Zach Kibirige set to start on the wings, with Wales international Jonah Holmes completing the line-up at fullback.

A limited number of tickets remain for the fixture, starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase now.

BARBARIAN F.C. SIDE TO FACE NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Saturday 26 November 2022
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

15 Jonah Holmes
14 Zach Kibirige
13 Luther Burrell
12 Owen Williams
11 Marland Yarde
10 Danny Cipriani
9 Gareth Simpson

1 Murray McCallum
2 Hika Elliot
3 Brok Harris
4 Graham Kitchener
5 Elliott Stooke
6 Ben Morris
7 Olly Robinson
8 Tom Wood (c)

Replacements:
16 Tevita Ikanivere
17 Ben Harris
18 Elliot Millar-Mills
19 Lloyd Ashley
20 Will Boyde
21 Francois Hougaard
22 Mali Hingano
23 Perry Humphreys

Content & Images from – Northampton Saints Rugby


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Premiership

TEAM NEWS | Sale Sharks v Bristol Bears

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Sam James makes his 200th Sharks appearance, Cobus Wiese and Akker van der Merwe return from injury and Rouban Birch and Kieran Wilkinson are rewarded for their cup heroics with places on the replacements bench for the Saturday lunchtime Premiership clash with Bristol Bears (KO 1pm – live on BT Sport).

Jean-Luc and Dan du Preez also return to the Sharks line-up after featuring for South Africa A, while Jono Ross captains the side for the round 11 showdown with Pat Lam’s men.

Springbok hooker Van der Merwe returns to the number two shirt after six weeks out with an ankle injury picked up against London Irish in October, and he takes his place in the front row between the experienced pair of Ross Harrison and Nick Schonert.

Wiese also returns from ankle lay-off to partner Josh Beaumont in the second row, while the Du Preez twins line-up alongside skipper Ross in the back row.

Gus Warr lines up again at scrum-half alongside fly-half Rob du Preez, and in the centres, Sam Hill starts with the ever-present Sam James, who plays his 200th game for his boyhood club.

Tom Roebuck and Byron McGuigan start on the wings, with full-back Joe Carpenter making up a pacy back three.

Academy products Tommy Taylor and fit-again Simon McIntyre provide front-row cover on the bench, along with Joe Jones, who will be playing his 50th Sharks game if he takes the field.

Sam Dugdale and Friday night’s Premiership Rugby Cup player of the match Birch cover the rest of the forwards.

Joe Simpson, Wilkinson and Arron Reed are the backs replacements.

Sale Sharks Starting XV:

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Hill, 11. Byron McGuigan, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. JL du Preez, 7. Jono Ross ©, 8. Daniel du Preez

Replacements:

16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Rouban Birch, 20. Sam Dugdale, 21. Joe Simpson, 22. Kieran Wilkinson, 23. Arron Reed.

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby


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Saints name strong side for historic Barbarians clash

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Northampton Saints have named a squad of 28 players to face Barbarian F.C., with Director of Rugby Phil Dowson fielding a strong line-up for the historic clash this weekend.The men in Black, Green and Gold will lock horns with the world-famous invitational side for the first time ever on Saturday afternoon (kick-off: 3pm) at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, with limited tickets still available starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*.Lewis Ludlam returns to captain Northampton Saints for the first time since October having recovered from injury, and the England flanker is joined in the back row by Angus Scott-Young and No.8 Juarno Augustus.Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Tom Lockett make up the hosts’ engine room – with the duo of locks selected together for the first time – while Saints’ front row is full of experience with Alex Waller, Mike Haywood and Paul Hill packing down from the start.Fly-half Fin Smith returns to lead Northampton’s back-line, with Callum Braley continuing in the No.9 jersey after skippering the men in Black, Green and Gold to a Premiership Rugby Cup victory at Newcastle Falcons last weekend.Rory Hutchinson and Matt Proctor combine in the midfield for Saints, with James Ramm, Tom Collins and Courtnall Skosan continuing in an unchanged back three.Meanwhile, Northampton name 13 players on the bench for this exhibition clash, with England internationals Alex Mitchell and George Furbank the headline inclusions – although there are also returns from injury for Karl Wilkins and Aaron Hinkley.A limited number of tickets remain for the fixture, starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase now.NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs BARBARIAN F.C.Saturday 26 November 2022cinch Stadium at Franklin’s GardensKick-off: 3pm15 James Ramm14 Tom Collins13 Matt Proctor12 Rory Hutchinson11 Courtnall Skosan10 Fin Smith9 Callum Braley1 Alex Waller2 Mike Haywood3 Paul Hill4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto5 Tom Lockett6 Angus Scott-Young7 Lewis Ludlam (c)8 Juarno AugustusReplacements:Robbie SmithEmmanuel IyogunEd ProwseAlex MoonBrandon NansenSam GrahamKarl WilkinsAaron HinkleyAlex MitchellGeorge FurbankJoel MatavesiTom LitchfieldGeorge HendyNot considered for selection:Matthew Arden, James Fish, James Grayson, Courtney Lawes, Ollie Sleightholme, and Ethan Waller.International duty:Alex Coles, Tommy Freeman and David Ribbans (all England).Referee: Joe JamesAssistant referees: Charlie Gayther and Phil WattersNo.4: Darryl Chapman

Northampton Saints have named a squad of 28 players to face Barbarian F.C., with Director of Rugby Phil Dowson fielding a strong line-up for the historic clash this weekend.

The men in Black, Green and Gold will lock horns with the world-famous invitational side for the first time ever on Saturday afternoon (kick-off: 3pm) at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, with limited tickets still available starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*.

Lewis Ludlam returns to captain Northampton Saints for the first time since October having recovered from injury, and the England flanker is joined in the back row by Angus Scott-Young and No.8 Juarno Augustus.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Tom Lockett make up the hosts’ engine room – with the duo of locks selected together for the first time – while Saints’ front row is full of experience with Alex Waller, Mike Haywood and Paul Hill packing down from the start.

Fly-half Fin Smith returns to lead Northampton’s back-line, with Callum Braley continuing in the No.9 jersey after skippering the men in Black, Green and Gold to a Premiership Rugby Cup victory at Newcastle Falcons last weekend.

Rory Hutchinson and Matt Proctor combine in the midfield for Saints, with James Ramm, Tom Collins and Courtnall Skosan continuing in an unchanged back three.

Meanwhile, Northampton name 13 players on the bench for this exhibition clash, with England internationals Alex Mitchell and George Furbank the headline inclusions – although there are also returns from injury for Karl Wilkins and Aaron Hinkley.

A limited number of tickets remain for the fixture, starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase now.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs BARBARIAN F.C.
Saturday 26 November 2022
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

15 James Ramm
14 Tom Collins
13 Matt Proctor
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Courtnall Skosan
10 Fin Smith
9 Callum Braley

1 Alex Waller
2 Mike Haywood
3 Paul Hill
4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
5 Tom Lockett
6 Angus Scott-Young
7 Lewis Ludlam (c)
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements:
Robbie Smith
Emmanuel Iyogun
Ed Prowse
Alex Moon
Brandon Nansen
Sam Graham
Karl Wilkins
Aaron Hinkley
Alex Mitchell
George Furbank
Joel Matavesi
Tom Litchfield
George Hendy

Not considered for selection:
Matthew Arden, James Fish, James Grayson, Courtney Lawes, Ollie Sleightholme, and Ethan Waller.

International duty:
Alex Coles, Tommy Freeman and David Ribbans (all England).

Referee: Joe James
Assistant referees: Charlie Gayther and Phil Watters
No.4: Darryl Chapman

Content & Images from – Northampton Saints Rugby


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