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Champions Cup: Northampton Saints v Leinster


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Champions Cup: Northampton Saints v Leinster

Wales international Dan Biggar returns at fly-half for Northampton Saints against LeinsterHeineken European Champions Cup Pool One: Northampton Saints v Leinster Venue: Franklin’s Gardens Date: Saturday, 7 December Kick-off: 13:00 GMTCoverage: Live coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and BBC Radio Northampton and BBC Sport websiteNorthampton Saints make three changes to the side…

Champions Cup: Northampton Saints v Leinster

Dan Biggar

Wales international Dan Biggar returns at fly-half for Northampton Saints against Leinster
Heineken European Champions Cup Pool One: Northampton Saints v Leinster
Venue: Franklin’s Gardens Date: Saturday, 7 December Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Coverage: Live coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and BBC Radio Northampton and BBC Sport website

Northampton Saints make three changes to the side that beat rivals Leicester Tigers in the league for their European Champions Cup tie with Leinster.

Dan Biggar returns at fly-half for Saints, who have won both of their opening games, alongside full-back Ahsee Tuala and flanker Jamie Gibson.

Unbeaten Leinster make 12 changes from their victory at Glasgow in the Pro14.

Only scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park, lock Devin Toner and number eight Caelan Doris retain their places.

Leinster lead the way on points difference in Pool One, and Saints head coach Chris Boys believes Northampton will face a team that plays “like an international side”.

“They don’t give you any opportunities,” Northampton boss Boyd said.

“I remember watching the semi-finals and final [of the Champions Cup] last season, and there was hardly a risk taken in the games. Saracens and Leinster do it exceptionally well.

“If you get too loose, they will kill you. They’ve got a great set-piece, they are defensively very well organised and they play territory, so they are not going to give you very much.

“The question will be whether we can get enough scraps and turn them into gold because if we don’t, it’s going to be a long day at the office.”

But the visitors, who have also maintained a 100% record in the Pro14 Conference A, will not be taking the trip to the East Midlands lightly and coach Leo Cullen says the hosts have “a lot of top end experience”.

“If you think of their half-backs, Dan Biggar has experience with Wales and Cobus Reinach was at the World Cup with South Africa,” he said.

“They have lots of good young players who have come through the system, so credit to them for backing them. It is going to make a fascinating battle and it is a game we are all looking forward to.”

Northampton: Tuala; Collins, Proctor, Hutchinson, Naiyaravoro; Biggar, Reinach; Waller, Haywood, Painter, Moon, Ratuniyarawa, Wood, Gibson, Harrison

Replacements: Van Vuuren, Van Wyk, Hill, Coles, Ludlam, Tupai, Grayson, Francis

Leinster: Larmour; Kearney, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe; Sexton, Gibson-Park; Healy, Kelleher, Porter, Toner, Ryan, Ruddock, Van der Flier, Doris

Replacements: Tracy, Byrne, Furlong, Fardy, Deegan, McGrath, Byrne, Kearney

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