Preview: Montpellier v Northampton

Date published: January 19 2017

Montpellier have made four changes for Friday's Champions Cup clash at the Altrad Stadium against Northampton Saints.

Joe Tomane shifts from inside centre to outside centre as Alexandre Dumoulin returns in midfield, taking the place of Vincent Martin.

Frans Steyn's four-week suspension means that Demetri Catrakilis comes in at fly-half, partnering Nic White in the half-backs for Montpellier.

The other changes come in the pack where a reshuffle sees Akapusi Qera switch to number eight and Kélian Galletier start in the seven shirt.

Finally, Charles Geli comes into the front-row at hooker.

Meanwhile, an attacking line-up has been named by Northampton, with JJ Hanrahan partnering with Harry Mallinder in the fly-half/centre combination.

Tongan international Nafi Tuitavake coming in at outside centre and international trio George North, Juan Pablo Estelles and Ahsee Tuala make up the back three.

Lee Dickson leads the team from scrum-half.

Form: Montpellier, who won the Challenge Cup last year, can still qualify for the next round of Europe, but will need a bonus-point win over the Saints and hope results elsewhere across the weekend go their way. The French side are second in Pool 4 with 11 points, whilst Northampton are at the bottom after a dismal campaign which has seen them ship 173 points, with only Italian outfit Zebre shipping more.

The teams:

Montpellier: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Joseph Tomane, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic White, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Kélian Galletier, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Antoine Guillamon, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 Antoine Battut, 21 Tomas O'Leary, 22 Henry Immelman, 23 Vincent Martin

Northampton: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Juan Pablo Estelles, 13 Nafi Tuitavake, 12 Harry Mallinder, 11 George North, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Lee Dickson (c), 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Ben Nutley, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 James Craig, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 Ethan Waller
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 James Wilson, 23 Ken Pisi

Date: Friday, January 20
Venue: Altrad Stadium
Kick-off: 20:45 local (19:45 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Gary Conway (Ireland), Dermot Blake (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

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