Planet Rugby

Preview: Northampton v Harlequins

24th April 2014 12:15

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James Wilson of Northampton is congratulated by his captain Phil Dawson

Full-back: James Wilson

The Northampton Saints starting line-up for Friday's Challenge Cup semi-final against Harlequins shows four changes.

Two of the changes are in the back line, with the remaining two both coming in the forwards.

Out wide James Wilson comes in at full-back, with England Under-20 centre Tom Stephenson wearing the number 12 shirt.

Up front James Craig pairs with Samu Manoa in the second row, with Calum Clark - who made his 100th appearance against the Exiles - coming off the bench to start in the back row.

The Saints coaches have also named a strong bench, featuring the likes of Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood and Luther Burrell. Mike Haywood returns to the matchday 23 after missing last Sunday's win.

Meanwhile, there are three changes for Harlequins to the side which beat Leicester Tigers last week as Charlie Walker returns from an injury sustained against Clermont Auvergne in January to start on the right wing.

Ben Botica starts at fly-half replacing Nick Evans who picked up a knock during last week's match.

In the forwards, Joe Marler returns to loosehead prop in place of Mark Lambert, as the second and back-rows remain unchanged.

Among the replacements, Louis Grimoldby will look to make his first European appearance for the club.

The teams:

Northampton Saints: 15 James Wilson, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tim Stephenson, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Phil Dowson (c), 6 Calum Clark, 5 James Craig, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Ross McMillan, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Gareth Denman, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Tom Wood, 21 Ryan Glynn, 22 Luther Burrell, 23 Tom Collins

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Tim Molenaar, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Luke Wallace, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Tom Guest, 20 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Louis Grimoldby, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague

Date: Friday, April 25
Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Kickoff: 20:00 (local, 19:00 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
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Brive vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Rovigo18:30
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Bucuresti vs Newport Gwent D'gonsTBC
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Edinburgh vs London Welsh14:00
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Saturday , October 25
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
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Friday , October 24
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
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London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-Begles
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Pool 1
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Pool 2
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2Connacht25
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Pool 5
European Rugby Challenge Cup Table
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1Gloucester29
2Oyonnax24
3Zebre24
4Brive21