Northampton Saints v Saracens: Full team news for Friday's Gallagher Premiership game

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Saints remain without England stars Alex Mitchell and George Furbank for Friday's crucial Gallagher Premiership game against Saracens at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens (kick-off 7.45pm).

But they are able to welcome back Tom James, who starts at scrum-half, and Tommy Freeman, who lines up on the wing.

James Ramm switches to full-back as George Hendy is not in the 23, while Fraser Dingwall comes in for Rory Hutchinson, who is unavailable this week.

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Curtis Langdon comes in for Sam Matavesi at hooker, while Alex Moon replaces Temo Mayanavanua in the second row.

Tom James returns for Saints (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Tom James returns for Saints (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Tom James returns for Saints (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A big boost comes in the back row as Tom Pearson is fit to start. He takes the place of Lewis Ludlam.

Juarno Augustus is also brought in as he replaces Sam Graham.

But Mayanavanua, Ludlam and Graham are all on the bench as Saints opt for a 6:2 split.

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With Ludlam and Furbank not in the starting line-up, Courtney Lawes will skipper the side this week.

Archie McParland and Tom Litchfield are the backs on the bench.

Saints are missing injured tighthead props Elliot Millar Mills and Paul Hill, which means Ed Prowse is again named as the back-up to Trevor Davison.

For Saracens, there is no Maro Itoje in the 23, while Ben Earl is given a breather as part of a strong bench.

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Owen Farrell will skipper the side from fly-half, with the likes of Jamie George, Elliot Daly and former Saints loanee Nick Isiekwe all starting.

Saints: Ramm; Freeman, Odendaal, Dingwall; Sleightholme, F Smith, James; Iyogun, Langdon, Davison; Moon, Coles; Lawes (c), Pearson, Augustus.

Replacements: S Matavesi, A Waller, Prowse, Mayanavanua, Ludlam, Graham, McParland, Litchfield.

Saracens: Daly; Maitland, Cinti, Tompkins, Lewington; Farrell (c), van Zyl; M Vunipola, George, Riccioni; McFarland, Isiekwe; Gonzalez, Christie, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Dan, Mawi, Judge, Tizard, Willis, Earl, Simpson, Goode.

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