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Preview: Northampton v Saracens

31st January 2014 12:40

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Will Hooley Northampton AVP 2013

Will Hooley: At 10 for Saints

Northampton have made five changes to their side for Saturday's LV= Cup pool game against Saracens at Franklin's Gardens.

Although both clubs have qualified for the semi-finals there is the all-important matter of a home tie to be decided, with the winner of tomorrow's game all-but-certain of playing in their own stadium in March's knockout stages.

With 13 players away on international duty, and more on the treatment table, the Saints have recalled Jamie Elliott, George Pisi, Samu Manoa and Ben Nutley into the starting line-up, with Will Hooley making his first team debut at fly-half.

The former England U20 Junior World Championship winner has been on dual registration with Moseley this season, for whom he has made 11 appearances in the current campaign.

Meanwhile, Marcelo Bosch and Michael Tagicakibau come into the Saracens side, in what are the only changes to the back-line from last weekend's 41-8 victory over the Newcastle Falcons.

In the pack, Petrus du Plessis starts at tighthead prop, with Justin Melck packing down at number eight.

On the bench, Richard Barrington, Matt Stevens, Moritz Botha and Jacques Burger come into the squad with academy scrum-half Jack Maplesden also included in the matchday 23.

The teams:

Northampton: 15 James Wilson, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Ken Pisi, 10 Will Hooley, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 GJ van Velze (c), 7 Ben Nutley, 6 Teimana Harrison, 5 Samu Manoa, 4 Rob Verbakel, 3 Gareth Denman, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Ethan Waller.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Tom Warren, 18 Adam Parkins, 19 Christian Day, 20 Matt Williams, 21 Alex Day, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Fa'atoina Autagavaia.

Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Jack Wilson, 13 Tim Streather, 12 Marcelo Bosch, 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Nils Mordt (c), 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Justin Melck, 7 Matt Hankin, 6 Nick de Jager, 5 Eoin Sheriff, 4 Hayden Smith, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Jared Saunders, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Scott Spurling, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Jacques Burger, 21 Jack Maplesden, 22 Sam Stanley, 23 Tom Jubb.

Date: Saturday, February 1
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Peter Huckle (England), Simon Mcconnell (England)
Timekeeper: Roy Marfleet (England)

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