Friday, January 27, 2023
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Matavesi to start against Gloucester

Flying Fijians hooker Sam Matavesi will start for the Northampton Saints in their Round 12 Gallagher Premiership Rugby clash against Gloucester tomorrow. 

Director of Saints Rugby Phil Dowson has made seven changes in the starting line-up from the side that beat the Barbarians 45-39 on home soil last weekend.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Alex Moon start together in the engine room for Saints for the fourth consecutive while Alex Waller moves into solo-ninth position in his 246th match appearance.

The loosehead prop will pack down in an experienced front row alongside Matavesi – back in Black, Green and Gold returning from the conclusion of the Autumn Nations Series.

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) are preferred in the centres, while Saints’ half-back duo of Fin Smith and Alex Mitchell start together for the third time.

Northampton Saints will take on Gloucester at 5.30am tomorrow.  

The teams:

Gloucester– Lloyd Evans, Louis Rees-Zammit, Chris Harris, Seb Atkinson, Jonny May, Santiago Carreras, Stephen Varney, Ben Morgan, Lewis Ludlow (c), Ruan Ackermann, Matias Alemanno, Freddie Clarke, Fraser Balmain, Jack Singleton, Val Rapava-Ruskin.

Replacements: Santiago Socino, Harry Elrington, Ciaran Knight, Cam Jordan, Jake Polledri, Charlie Chapman, Billy Twelvetrees, Alex Hearle.

Northampton– George Furbank, James Ramm, Fraser Dingwall, Rory Hutchinson, Tommy Freeman, Fin Smith, Alex Mitchell, Juarno Augustus, Lewis Ludlam (c), Alex Coles, Alex Moon, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Paul Hill, Sam Matavesi, Alex Waller.

Replacements: Robbie Smith, Emmanuel Iyogun, Alfie Petch, David Ribbans, Angus Scott-Young, Sam Graham, Tom James, Matt Proctor.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com
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