Ealing Trailfinders v Northampton Saints: Team news for the cup curtain raiser

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Eight players are set to debut for Saints in their televised Premiership Rugby Cup opener at Ealing Trailfinders on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 1pm).

Lock Theo Vukasinovic and No.8 Izaiha Moore-Aiono are on short-term contracts after appearing as guest players during pre-season, and both start this weekend.

Hooker Craig Wright, wing Will Glister and full-back Ewan Baker will also be part of the first 15 as they make their first competitive appearances for the black, green and gold.

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Three further debuts could come from the bench, with summer signing Elliot Millar Mills, Matthew Arden and Oscar Daniel named among the replacements.

Henry Pollock starts for Saints on Sunday (picture: Adam Gumbs)Henry Pollock starts for Saints on Sunday (picture: Adam Gumbs)
Henry Pollock starts for Saints on Sunday (picture: Adam Gumbs)

Sam Graham will skipper Saints for the first time as he starts in the back row alongside the hugely talented Henry Pollock and Moore-Aiono.

The likes of Alex Waller, Paul Hill and James Grayson provide first-team experience for a Saints side that remains without the majority of first-team regulars.

But Tom Cruse and Tommy Freeman are among the replacements.

Callum Braley, Toby Cousins, Tarek Haffar, Joel Matavesi, Beltus Nonleh, Burger Odendaal, Angus Scott-Young, Ollie Sleightholme and Toby Thame are all sidelined.

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Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Alex Mitchell, Sam Matavesi and Temo Mayanavanua are on World Cup duty.

Ealing Trailfinders: 15 Cian Kelleher; 14 Jonah Holmes, 13 Dan O’Brien, 12 Reuben Bird-Tulloch, 11 Nathan Earle; 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Craig Hampson; 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2 Mike Willemse, 3 Jimmy Roots; 4 Bobby de Wee, 5 Barney Maddison (c); 6 Jordy Reid, 7 Simon Uzokwe, 8 Rayn Smid

Replacements: 16 Matt Cornish, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 George Davis, 19 Simon Linsell, 20 Ollie Newman, 21 Jordan Burns, 22 Bruce Houston, 23 Max Bodilly

Saints: 15 Ewan Baker; 14 Jake Garside, 13 George Hendy, 12 Tom Litchfield, 11 Will Glister; 10 James Grayson, 9 Archie McParland; 1 Alex Waller, 2 Craig Wright, 3 Paul Hill; 4 Theo Vukasinovic, 5 Tom Lockett; 6 Sam Graham (c), 7 Henry Pollock, 8 Izaiha Moore-Aiono.

Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Elliot Millar Mills, 18 Ed Prowse, 19 Emeka Atuanya, 20 Kayde Sylvester, 21 Matthew Arden, 22 Oscar Daniel, 23 Tommy Freeman.