Bedford Blues v Northampton Saints: Team news for Saturday's pre-season opener

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Saints have named four guest players and three loanees in their squad to face Bedford Blues in the pre-season opener at Goldington Road on Saturday (kick-off 1.30pm).

Former London Irish and San Diego Legion loosehead prop Luke Green and Nottingham Rugby loanee James Cherry will start for the black, green and gold.

Izaiha Moore-Aiono (formerly London Irish), Theo Vukasinovic (formerly Wasps and Doncaster Knights) and Toby Fricker (formerly Bristol Bears) will be on the bench, along with Henri Lavin and Oscar Daniel (both on loan from Loughborough University).

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Hooker Tom Cruse will skipper the Saints side, which will include summer signings Elliot Millar Mills and Tom Seabrook.

Former Bristol Bears player Toby Fricker will be on the Saints bench (photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)Former Bristol Bears player Toby Fricker will be on the Saints bench (photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Former Bristol Bears player Toby Fricker will be on the Saints bench (photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Emeka Atuanya starts in the engine room and is joined there by Angus Scott-Young, who starts in the second row for the first time in his Saints career.

Saints name a youthful back row, with 18-year-old duo Reuben Logan and Henry Pollock set to make their first appearances since signing senior professional contracts with the club last term, while Cherry is at No.8.

Scrum-half Archie McParland partners James Grayson in the half-back berths against Blues, while Joel Matavesi and Tom Litchfield – who both featured for the Championship side last season as part of Saints’ strategic partnership with Bedford – link up in Saints’ midfield.

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And there will be a first chance to see new recruit Seabrook at Goldington Road as he lines up on Saints’ wing alongside Senior Academy first year Will Glister, with full-back George Hendy rounding off the back three.

Saints take an extended bench to Bedford to allow players to get important game minutes before the regular season gets underway, with the likes of Aston Gradwick-Light, George Patten, Ed Prowse, Jake Garside, Matthew Arden and Ewan Baker set to enter the action.

Saints: 15 George Hendy; 14 Will Glister, 13 Tom Litchfield, 12 Joel Matavesi, 11 Tom Seabrook; 10 James Grayson, 9 Archie McParland; 1 Luke Green*, 2 Tom Cruse (c), 3 Elliott Millar Mills; 4 Emeka Atuanya, 5 Angus Scott-Young; 6 Reuben Logan, 7 Henry Pollock, 8 James Cherry*.

Replacements: 16 Aston Gradwick-Light, 17 Craig Wright, 18 George Patten, 19 Ed Prowse, 20 Theo Vukasinovic*, 21 Izaiha Moore-Aiono*, 22 Henri Lavin*, 23 Jake Garside, 24 Matthew Arden, 25 Toby Fricker*, 26 Oscar Daniel*, 27 Ewan Baker.

*Denotes guest/loan player