Aviva Premiership team news — Clubs welcome back Test stars


The Aviva Premiership is back once again, and this weekend most clubs welcome back their international contingent.

Will the likes of George Ford, Maro Itoje and Sean Maitland be required to go straight back into club action? ESPN brings you the latest team news.


Northampton vs. Newcastle

Franklin’s Gardens, 7.45 p.m.

Northampton welcome England duo Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes back into their starting XV for the visit of the Falcons as Jim Mallinder makes three changes. Hartley captains a side that also features Rob Horne at outside-centre. Prop Alex Waller, meanwhile, will make his 150th Saints appearance. Api Ratuniyarawa, Piers Francis and Ahsee Tuala are all back from international duty and on the bench.

Vereniki Goneva is one of eight changes to the Newcastle team having played for Fiji as they beat Canada last weekend. Sonatane Takulua and Chris Harris are also back from Test duty, while Toby Flood, Josh Matevesi, Kyle Cooper, Calum Green and Gary Graham all start. Mark Wilson shifts to No. 8 with Nili Latu named on the Falcons bench.

Worcester vs. Sale

Sixways, 7.45 p.m.

David Denton replaces the injured GJ van der Velze at No. 8 in the only change to the Worcester side that beat Leicester last time out. Joe Taufete’e, who has returned from international duty with the United States, and Pierce Phillips are both recalled to the replacements’ bench.

Scotland hero Byron McGuigan — who enjoyed a man-of-the-match debut against Australia last weekend — is one of three internationals who return to Steve Diamond’s side. AJ MacGinty and TJ Ioane, who is named on the bench, are also back. James O’Connor will start his first game at fullback for Sale, while Janse Van Rensburg is handed the No. 12 shirt. Marland Yarde is not included in the 23-man squad.

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