Lawes and Ribbans ruled out as Saints boss Boyd makes eight changes for Benetton trip

Saints have been forced to shuffle their pack for Saturday's Champions Cup clash with Benetton at Stadio Comunale di Monigo (kick-off 1pm GMT).

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 11:55 am
Courtney Lawes has been ruled out of Saints' trip to Italy

David Ribbans (back) and Courtney Lawes (hamstring) are among the big guns out injured as the black, green and gold travel to Treviso.

Piers Francis (shoulder), Andy Symons (dead leg) and James Fish (head) are also added to an absentee list that already contained Harry Mallinder (knee), Alex Mitchell (knee), Reece Marshall (hamstring), Reuben Bird-Tulloch (hand), Henry Taylor (thumb) and Ben Franks (elbow).

Tom Wood and Taqele Naiyaravoro are also out of the matchday squad as they are rested.

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Boss Chris Boyd has made eight changes in total to his starting line-up after his side beat Lyon 25-14 in the European opener at Franklin's Gardens last Sunday.

Saints' two new All Blacks stars start for the first time, with Owen Franks in for Ehren Painter at tighthead and Matt Proctor replacing Francis at centre.

Francois van Wyk is in for Alex Waller, while Alex Moon and Api Ratuniyarawa take the place of Ribbans and Lawes in the second row.

Jamie Gibson is Wood's replacement in the No.6 shirt.

Ollie Sleightholme returns on the wing in place of Naiyaravoro, while George Furbank drops to the bench to allow Ahsee Tuala to make his first start of the season at full-back.

Saints: Tuala; Sleightholme, Proctor, Hutchinson, Collins; Biggar, Reinach; Van Wyk, Haywood, O Franks; Moon, Ratuniyarawa; Gibson, Ludlam, Harrison (c). Replacements: Van Vuuren, Waller, Hill, Bean, Eadie, J Mitchell, Dingwall, Furbank.