Northampton Saints: Skosan, Haywood, and Coles in for Saints ahead of Exeter trip

Northampton Saints: Skosan, Haywood, and Coles in for Saints ahead of Exeter trip

Courtnall Skosan, Mike Haywood and Alex Coles return to Northampton Saints’ starting line-up this weekend, as Director of Rugby Phil Dowson makes just three changes to his side to face Exeter Chiefs.

The men in Black, Green and Gold head to Devon on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 4.30pm, live on BT Sport) off the back of a thumping win over Harlequins last time out, and Dowson largely sticks with the winning formula for another crucial Gallagher Premiership clash.

Saints have won on their last two visits to Sandy Park and beat Exeter 26-19 on home soil back in November – but they will need to arrest an away run in the league which has seen Northampton win just once on their travels since April, if they are to record a first season’s double over Chiefs since the 2013/14 season.

South Africa international Skosan starts on the wing for Saints as part of a back three reshuffle which sees England’s Tommy Freeman start at fullback, while the in-form James Ramm (who has four tries to his name in his last four appearances) keeps his place.

That allows George Furbank to switch into the No.10 jersey this weekend, with Fin Smith still progressing through the Graduated Return To Play protocols.

Alex Mitchell continues at scrum-half, and Northampton’s midfield is unchanged from last weekend’s victory meaning Fraser Dingwall and Matt Proctor line-up in the centres.

Up front, Haywood is one of two changes to the pack, coming into the front row to replace the injured Sam Matavesi. He is joined by Alex Waller – the Gallagher Premiership’s player-of-the-weekend following his performance against Quins – and tighthead prop Paul Hill.

Alex Coles returns to the matchday 23 for the first time in almost a month, partnering Alex Moon in the engine room, with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto preferred at flanker alongside Angus Scott-Young and No.8 Lewis Ludlam.

Amongst the replacements, tighthead prop Alfie Petch will be hoping to make an impact against his former side, while the likes of Emmanuel Iyogun, Callum Braley, Rory Hutchinson, and Tom Collins are all set to enter the action off the bench.

Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 15
Saturday 7 January 2023
Sandy Park
Kick-off: 4.30pm

15 Tommy Freeman
14 James Ramm
13 Matt Proctor
12 Fraser Dingwall
11 Courtnall Skosan
10 George Furbank
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller
2 Mike Haywood
3 Paul Hill
4 Alex Coles
5 Alex Moon
6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
7 Angus Scott-Young
8 Lewis Ludlam (c)

16 Robbie Smith
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Alfie Petch
19 Karl Wilkins
20 Sam Graham
21 Callum Braley
22 Rory Hutchinson
23 Tom Collins

Not considered for selection:
Juarno Augustus, James Fish, James Grayson, Courtney Lawes, Sam Matavesi, David Ribbans and Fin Smith.

Referee: Adam Leal
Assistant referees: Charlie Gayther and John Meredith
No.4: Harry Walbaum
TMO: Stuart Terheege

Latest News