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Ludlam, Lawes, Biggar and Freeman make Saints return for 250th Derby

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Director of Rugby Phil Dowson has made seven changes to his Northampton Saints side to take on Leicester Tigers on Saturday, with four internationals in Lewis Ludlam, Courtney Lawes, Dan Biggar and Tommy Freeman all returning to the starting line-up.The men in Black, Green and Gold take on their local rivals in the first East Midlands Derby of the 2022/23 season – and the 250th ever played in a milestone clash at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.Saints lost all three meetings between the sides last term, including an evenly-contested Gallagher Premiership semi-final, but will be hoping to replicate the sort of form which has seen Northampton win their last five league matches on home soil (the Club’s longest winning run at the Gardens since 2015).Club captain Lewis Ludlam returns for the first time this season for Saints in the back row and is joined by England captain Courtney Lawes, with the pair having completed their rest period following the summer’s international tour to Australia.No.8 Juarno Augustus – who has driven through more metres in contact than any other Premiership player in the league’s opening two rounds – completes the back row, while Alex Coles moves up into the engine room to partner Australian lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.There are changes to Northampton’s front row too; Sam Matavesi continues at hooker but props Emmanuel Iyogun and Alfie Petch both earn their first starts of the season to pack down either side of the Fiji international.Wales skipper Biggar (who was due to return in last weekend’s victory over London Irish before illness ruled him out of the clash) pulls on the No.10 jersey for the hosts, with the Premiership’s player-of-the-round Alex Mitchell continuing at scrum-half.Fraser Dingwall returns from injury to take his place in the starting line-up, prompting a reshuffle in Saints’ backline as Matt Proctor moves to the wing and Rory Hutchinson continues at inside centre.England internationals George Furbank and Tommy Freeman round off the back three for Northampton for the crucial clash, with the likes of Tom James, Paul Hill, Angus Scott-Young and Tom Collins all primed to make an impact off the bench.A small number of tickets remain for the East Midlands Derby, with prices starting from £42 adult / £12 child*. Please CLICK HERE to purchase now.NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs LEICESTER TIGERSGallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 3Saturday 24 September 2022cinch Stadium at Franklin’s GardensKick-off: 3pm15 George Furbank14 Tommy Freeman13 Fraser Dingwall12 Rory Hutchinson11 Matt Proctor10 Dan Biggar9 Alex Mitchell1 Emmanuel Iyogun2 Sam Matavesi3 Alfie Petch4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto5 Alex Coles6 Courtney Lawes7 Lewis Ludlam (c)8 Juarno AugustusReplacements:16 Mike Haywood17 Ethan Waller18 Paul Hill19 Alex Moon20 Angus Scott-Young21 Tom James22 James Grayson23 Tom CollinsNot considered for selection:Matthew Arden, Callum Burns, James Fish, Joseph Gaffan, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Alex Waller and Karl Wilkins.Referee: Karl DicksonAssistant referees: Dan Jones and Jamie LeahyNo.4: Dean RichardsTMO: Stuart Terheege* All ticket prices are subject to a £1.50 booking fee. Please note, ticket prices rise by £3 per ticket if purchased on matchday.

Director of Rugby Phil Dowson has made seven changes to his Northampton Saints side to take on Leicester Tigers on Saturday, with four internationals in Lewis Ludlam, Courtney Lawes, Dan Biggar and Tommy Freeman all returning to the starting line-up.

The men in Black, Green and Gold take on their local rivals in the first East Midlands Derby of the 2022/23 season – and the 250th ever played in a milestone clash at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

Saints lost all three meetings between the sides last term, including an evenly-contested Gallagher Premiership semi-final, but will be hoping to replicate the sort of form which has seen Northampton win their last five league matches on home soil (the Club’s longest winning run at the Gardens since 2015).

Club captain Lewis Ludlam returns for the first time this season for Saints in the back row and is joined by England captain Courtney Lawes, with the pair having completed their rest period following the summer’s international tour to Australia.

No.8 Juarno Augustus – who has driven through more metres in contact than any other Premiership player in the league’s opening two rounds – completes the back row, while Alex Coles moves up into the engine room to partner Australian lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.

There are changes to Northampton’s front row too; Sam Matavesi continues at hooker but props Emmanuel Iyogun and Alfie Petch both earn their first starts of the season to pack down either side of the Fiji international.

Wales skipper Biggar (who was due to return in last weekend’s victory over London Irish before illness ruled him out of the clash) pulls on the No.10 jersey for the hosts, with the Premiership’s player-of-the-round Alex Mitchell continuing at scrum-half.

Fraser Dingwall returns from injury to take his place in the starting line-up, prompting a reshuffle in Saints’ backline as Matt Proctor moves to the wing and Rory Hutchinson continues at inside centre.

England internationals George Furbank and Tommy Freeman round off the back three for Northampton for the crucial clash, with the likes of Tom James, Paul Hill, Angus Scott-Young and Tom Collins all primed to make an impact off the bench.

A small number of tickets remain for the East Midlands Derby, with prices starting from £42 adult / £12 child*. Please CLICK HERE to purchase now.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs LEICESTER TIGERS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 3
Saturday 24 September 2022
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

15 George Furbank
14 Tommy Freeman
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Matt Proctor
10 Dan Biggar
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Emmanuel Iyogun
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Alfie Petch
4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
5 Alex Coles
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Lewis Ludlam (c)
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements:
16 Mike Haywood
17 Ethan Waller
18 Paul Hill
19 Alex Moon
20 Angus Scott-Young
21 Tom James
22 James Grayson
23 Tom Collins

Not considered for selection:
Matthew Arden, Callum Burns, James Fish, Joseph Gaffan, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Alex Waller and Karl Wilkins.

Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Dan Jones and Jamie Leahy
No.4: Dean Richards
TMO: Stuart Terheege

* All ticket prices are subject to a £1.50 booking fee. Please note, ticket prices rise by £3 per ticket if purchased on matchday.

Content & Images from – Northampton Saints Rugby


Premiership

Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors will not go ahead as planned

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Gloucester Rugby

Following confirmation from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) that Worcester Warriors have been suspended from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Gloucester Rugby’s Round 3 fixture versus the Warriors – scheduled for Saturday 1 October – will not go ahead as had been planned.

The Club awaits further information as to whether the fixture is cancelled or postponed and will update supporters as soon as possible thereafter.

Our thoughts go to Worcester Warriors players, staff and supporters following the news of their suspension from the league. We hope to see them return to the Premiership again soon. 

Open training this weekend

In absence of a fixture this weekend, Gloucester Rugby is opening the gates for supporters – regardless of whether they have a ticket to the Worcester fixture – to come and watch the first team train, followed by a signing session. 

Attendance is free although supporters will need a ticket for entry – simply click here to get yours.

Gates will open at 12pm with the training session running from 12.30-2pm. Following the conclusion of open training, a signing session will take place pitch-side, while Saracens v Leicester Tigers, live on BT Sport from 3pm, will also be available on the screens in the Stowford Press Clubhouse.

Next up at Holm

Bristol Bears will visit Kingsholm on Saturday 15 October and it promises to be a game not to miss! Tickets are available now from just £25 for adults and £15 for children. Click here to purchase.

For any enquiries please email [email protected]

Content & Images from – Gloucester Rugby


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Club Statement

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Worcester Warriors submit request for DCMS to appoint administrators

Worcester Warriors can confirm that WRFC Trading Limited, the company that owns the Worcester Warriors Premiership rugby club, has today asked DCMS to place the club into administration.

DCMS will now apply to the court to appoint administrators.

As negotiations with possible investors have still not led to critically-needed funding, administration is seen as the best solution to safeguard the interests of the business and ensure the best chances of a solution that saves the club.

It is hoped that this course of action will help to bring forward interested purchasers who may be able to preserve the club.

Once appointed, administrators will communicate with staff, supporters, partners, sponsors and creditors about timescales and processes to seek a purchaser.

Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham said: “We are grateful to DCMS and Sport England as the Covid19 loan Programme Manager for accepting our request to place the club into administration.

“Both the club and DCMS will continue to co-ordinate efforts to find a rescue for the club if there is any possibility of it being saved.

“The administrators will assess any rescue options for some or all of the business as and when offers are made, while ensuring public funds are protected.”

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Premiership

RFU issue statement on Worcester future

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RFU Statement: Worcester Warriors

The owners of Worcester Warriors have not met the RFU’s 5pm deadline to evidence insurance cover, availability of funds to meet the monthly payroll, and a credible plan to take the club forward. 

The RFU has therefore suspended Worcester Warriors from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Allianz Premier 15s, U18s Academy Cup and Allianz Cup with immediate effect.

Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO said;

“We appreciate this is incredibly difficult news for fans, staff and players.  We would like to thank the staff and players who have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to enable matches to continue.

“We met with players and staff last week to explain why this action would be necessary and regrettably without assurances in place we have had to take this action to protect everyone’s best interests. 

“We hope a buyer can be secured to allow Worcester Warriors and The University of Worcester Warriors to return to professional league rugby.  While it is the responsibility of each business owner to manage their individual finances, we will look at learnings from this situation to see what regulation can be put in place to provide all parties with more financial transparency.  Rugby is a relatively young professional sport and it has been widely recognised that clubs have been facing financial challenges even before Covid. 

“Successful professional leagues are vital for the wellbeing of the whole game.  They inspire current and future players, delight fans by showcasing high skill levels and the exciting nature of our game. This is why it is so important that we continue to work with Premiership Rugby to improve the structure, governance and business model of rugby union in England.

“The RFU will continue to support community rugby in Worcester and is fully committed to ensuring local academy opportunities are provided for pathway players.”

The RFU will work with Premiership Rugby and DCMS to establish next steps for the club and what this will mean for the Gallagher Premiership, the men’s Academy and Allianz Premier 15s competitions.


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