Ludlam to skipper Saints in Saracens clash

Lewis Ludlam will skipper Saints for the first time in Saturday's big Gallagher Premiership game against Saracens at Allianz Park (kick-off 3pm).

Friday, 1st March 2019, 12:03 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 12:05 pm
Lewis Ludlam in action against Bath last weekend

It is a sign of how highly rated the 23-year-old flanker is that he gets the captaincy on the big stage this weekend, with Ludlam having become a key member of the first team since boss Chris Boyd arrived last summer.Tom Wood and Alex Waller both drop to the bench, meaning Ludlam, who has 35 Saints appearances to his name, gets the armband at Allianz Park.Heinrich Brüssow comes in for Wood at No.8, while the front row is freshened up again with Francois van Wyk and James Fish replacing Waller and Reece Marshall respectively.Taqele Naiyaravoro is not in the squad so Ken Pisi steps in on the wing.Fraser Dingwall returns from England Under-20s duty and injury to start at outside centre.Luther Burrell drops to the bench.Alex Mitchell keeps his place at scrum-half with Cobus Reinach, who has recovered from a minor neck injury, among the replacements.Saints go into the game having won four of their past five league matches, a run that has seen them rise to fifth in the Premiership standings.Saints: Furbank; Pisi, Dingwall, Hutchinson, Tuala; Grayson, Mitchell; van Wyk, Fish, Hill; Ribbans, Ratuniyarawa; Gibson, Ludlam (c), Brüssow.Replacements: Marshall, Waller, Franks, Moon, Wood, Reinach, Burrell, Collins.

Saracens: Malins; Strettle, Tompkins, Barritt (c), Maitland; Goode, Spencer; Barrington, Woolstencroft, Judge; Skelton, Isiekwe; Clark, Earl, Wray.Replacements: Gray, Lamositele, Koch, Kpoku, Burger, Wigglesworth, Lozowski, Gallagher.