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Premiership

Internationals return for Saints ahead of Gallagher Premiership trip to Gloucester

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Tommy Freeman, Alex Coles and Sam Matavesi are all set to start Northampton Saints’ clash against Gloucester Rugby this weekend following the conclusion of the Autumn Nations Series.The men in Black, Green and Gold travel to Kingsholm on Saturday afternoon to face the Cherry and Whites in the Gallagher Premiership (kick-off: 5.30pm, Live on BT Sport).The hosts will be looking to arrest a run of three straight defeats in the league, with Saints winning two of their last three, but Kingsholm has not been a happy hunting ground in recent years for Northampton who have won just once in their last six visits to Gloucester in all competitions.Director of Rugby Phil Dowson makes seven changes in total to this starting line-up from the side that beat the Barbarians on home soil last weekend.Lewis Ludlam leads out Northampton having made his return from injury last week, and the England flanker is joined in the back row by Coles – capped three times by the Red Rose last month – and No.8 Juarno Augustus, who leads Premiership in metres made in contact (157) so far this season.Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Alex Moon start together in the engine room for Saints for the fourth consecutive league match, while up front, Alex Waller moves into solo-ninth position on the Premiership’s all-time list of appearances in his 246th match in the competition.The loosehead prop will pack down in an experienced front row alongside Fiji hooker Matavesi – back in Black, Green and Gold from international duty – and tighthead prop Paul Hill.Amongst four changes across the back line, James Ramm makes his first Premiership start on the wing, with England internationals George Furbank and Freeman returning at fullback and wing respectively to complete the back three.Rory Hutchinson and Fraser Dingwall – who has crossed the gainline more times (56) than any other back in the league so far this season – are preferred in the centres, while Saints’ half-back duo of Fin Smith and Alex Mitchell start together for the third time.Amongst the replacements, there is a return to the Northampton squad for newly-capped David Ribbans – with the likes of Angus Scott-Young, Sam Graham, Tom James, and Matt Proctor also on the bench as Dowson opts for a 6-2 split.GLOUCESTER RUGBY vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTSGallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 12Saturday 3 December 2022Kingsholm StadiumKick-off: 5.30pm15 George Furbank14 James Ramm13 Fraser Dingwall12 Rory Hutchinson11 Tommy Freeman10 Fin Smith9 Alex Mitchell1 Alex Waller2 Sam Matavesi3 Paul Hill4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto5 Alex Moon6 Alex Coles7 Lewis Ludlam (c)8 Juarno AugustusReplacements:16 Robbie Smith17 Emmanuel Iyogun18 Alfie Petch19 David Ribbans20 Angus Scott-Young21 Sam Graham22 Tom James23 Matt ProctorNot considered for selection:Matthew Arden, James Fish, James Grayson, Mike Haywood, Geordie Irvine, Courtney Lawes, Tom Lockett and Ollie Sleightholme.GLOUCESTER SIDE TO FACE SAINTS15 Lloyd Evans, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Stephen Varney; 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Freddie Clarke, 5 Matias Alemanno, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 8 Ben MorganReplacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cam Jordan, 20 Jake Polledri, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Alex HearleReferee: Ian TempestAssistant referees: Greg Macdonald and John MeredithNo.4: Simon AdamsTMO: Andrew Jackson

Tommy Freeman, Alex Coles and Sam Matavesi are all set to start Northampton Saints’ clash against Gloucester Rugby this weekend following the conclusion of the Autumn Nations Series.

The men in Black, Green and Gold travel to Kingsholm on Saturday afternoon to face the Cherry and Whites in the Gallagher Premiership (kick-off: 5.30pm, Live on BT Sport).

The hosts will be looking to arrest a run of three straight defeats in the league, with Saints winning two of their last three, but Kingsholm has not been a happy hunting ground in recent years for Northampton who have won just once in their last six visits to Gloucester in all competitions.

Director of Rugby Phil Dowson makes seven changes in total to this starting line-up from the side that beat the Barbarians on home soil last weekend.

Lewis Ludlam leads out Northampton having made his return from injury last week, and the England flanker is joined in the back row by Coles – capped three times by the Red Rose last month – and No.8 Juarno Augustus, who leads Premiership in metres made in contact (157) so far this season.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Alex Moon start together in the engine room for Saints for the fourth consecutive league match, while up front, Alex Waller moves into solo-ninth position on the Premiership’s all-time list of appearances in his 246th match in the competition.

The loosehead prop will pack down in an experienced front row alongside Fiji hooker Matavesi – back in Black, Green and Gold from international duty – and tighthead prop Paul Hill.

Amongst four changes across the back line, James Ramm makes his first Premiership start on the wing, with England internationals George Furbank and Freeman returning at fullback and wing respectively to complete the back three.

Rory Hutchinson and Fraser Dingwall – who has crossed the gainline more times (56) than any other back in the league so far this season – are preferred in the centres, while Saints’ half-back duo of Fin Smith and Alex Mitchell start together for the third time.

Amongst the replacements, there is a return to the Northampton squad for newly-capped David Ribbans – with the likes of Angus Scott-Young, Sam Graham, Tom James, and Matt Proctor also on the bench as Dowson opts for a 6-2 split.

GLOUCESTER RUGBY vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 12
Saturday 3 December 2022
Kingsholm Stadium
Kick-off: 5.30pm

15 George Furbank
14 James Ramm
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Tommy Freeman
10 Fin Smith
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Paul Hill
4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
5 Alex Moon
6 Alex Coles
7 Lewis Ludlam (c)
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements:
16 Robbie Smith
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Alfie Petch
19 David Ribbans
20 Angus Scott-Young
21 Sam Graham
22 Tom James
23 Matt Proctor

Not considered for selection:
Matthew Arden, James Fish, James Grayson, Mike Haywood, Geordie Irvine, Courtney Lawes, Tom Lockett and Ollie Sleightholme.

GLOUCESTER SIDE TO FACE SAINTS
15 Lloyd Evans, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Stephen Varney; 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Freddie Clarke, 5 Matias Alemanno, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 8 Ben Morgan
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cam Jordan, 20 Jake Polledri, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Alex Hearle

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald and John Meredith
No.4: Simon Adams
TMO: Andrew Jackson

Content & Images from – Northampton Saints Rugby


Premiership

Irish name side for west London derby

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Declan Kidney has confirmed the squad for Sunday’s derby clash with Harlequins at the Gtech Community Stadium in Round 16 of the Gallagher Premiership (3pm kick-off).

Will Goodrick-Clarke, Agustin Creevy and Oliver Hoskins are in the front row, with Rob Simmons and Adam Coleman in the second row.

Matt Rogerson captains the side from the six jersey and is joined in the back row by Tom Pearson and Chandler Cunningham-South.

Ben White and Paddy Jackson link up to form the halfback duo, and Rory Jennings partners Benhard van Rensburg in the centres.

Michael Dykes, Lucio Cinti and James Stokes complete the line-up as the back three.

“Whenever these two clubs pitch up against one another, it always creates a good game of rugby,” said Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby.

“I know that we are expecting a good crowd at the Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday, and they will inevitably create a great atmosphere.

“We need to make sure that we put in a full 80-minute performance to give our supporters a reason to show their voice. Harlequins are a well-drilled side, and we know it will be a difficult challenge this weekend, but one we look forward to.”

London Irish:
15 James Stokes, 14 Lucio Cinti, 13 Benhard van Rensburg, 12 Rory Jennings, 11 Michael Dykes, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Oliver Hoskins, 4 Rob Simmons, 5 Adam Coleman, 6 Matt Rogerson (c), 7 Tom Pearson, 8 Chandler Cunningham-South.

Replacements:
16 Mike Willemse, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Henry Arundell.

Click here to buy tickets!

Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby


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Baxter issues Moon injury update

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Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens
26/1/23

Rob Baxter says he cannot give a timescale as to when prop Ben Moon will return to the Exeter Chiefs match-day squad.

The 33-year-old forward is currently Exeter’s longest-serving player, having made his debut in 2008 away to Sedgley Park, and is the last remaining member of their 2009-10 promotion squad.

The England international, however, has not featured for the Devon club since coming off the bench against Munster in last April’s Heineken Champions Cup clash at Sandy Park.

Asked by the media this week about Moon, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby said: “I wouldn’t hold out hope that he’s going to be appearing soon. It’s been a challenge for Ben for a little period of time now, it’s not just been this season.

“He’s had periods in and out with it, it’s something that’s been affecting him for a little while and because of what it is we just have to be very careful with it.”

Moon has featured in all six of Exeter’s Premiership final appearances at Twickenham – and he also played in the 2020 European Champions Cup final win over Racing 92, and Exeter’s first major final when they beat Northampton Saints to win the 2014 LV Cup.

Moon won eight England caps in the 2018-19 season, but did not make the squad for that autumn’s World Cup in Japan.

“He’s still active around the club, he’s still here, he’s in training, he’s continuing very hard with his rehab and getting everything else he can right, but we’ve just got to be really careful around that neck.

“It’s probably one of those things where it’s getting to the stage where there’s not a lot more we can do. I can’t talk for Ben about his future, but you’re not going to see him in the immediate future on the pitch.”

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Premiership

TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby

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South African talisman Rob du Preez is set to make his 100th Sharks appearance whilst Alex Groves is in line for his Gallagher Premiership debut as Alex Sanderson names his side to face Bath Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow night. (Kick-off 7:45pm – Live on BT Sport) 

Sanderson makes seven changes to the Sale starting line-up as his squad returns to Gallagher Premiership action following defeat at the hands of Ulster in the Champions Cup. 

In the forwards, there is a complete change of the Sharks front-row as Simon McIntyre, Tommy Taylor and Nick Schonert all return to face Bath.  

Cobus Wiese links back up with Josh Beaumont in the second row following a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle in the Sharks’ clash with Toulouse two weeks ago. 

Jono Ross captains the side in the absence of Ben Curry, whilst Sam Dugdale steps in to replace the flanker after his England call up to Steve Borthwick’s England squad. Jean-Luc du Preez retains the number 8 shirt with twin-brother Dan remaining on the side lines due to an ongoing hand injury. 

Gus Warr continues to provide a platform for success at scrum-half and links up with centurion Rob du Preez, who is named at fly-half. 

The ever-present Sam James retains the thirteen shirt with Ryan Mills picked at inside centre in the absence of Manu Tuilagi. The former Wasps centre is one of two changes in the Sharks’ back line. 

Sanderson’s second change in the backs comes in the form of Tom Roebuck, who replaces Arron Reed on the wing after an impressive cameo in the Champions Cup. Tom O’Flaherty is named on the other wing, with exciting academy graduate Joe Carpenter at full-back. 

On the bench, Ewan Ashman, Ross Harrison and Joe Jones are named as front-row replacements, with Alex Groves and Rouban Birch providing further cover for the forwards. Raffi Quirke, Luke James and Arron Reed cover the backs. 

Sale Sharks Starting XV: 

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Ryan Mills, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. Jono Ross (c), 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez 

Replacements: 

16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Alex Groves, 20. Rouban Birch, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby


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