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Premiership: London Irish v Northampton Saints


Aviva Premiership Venue: Madejski Stadium Date: Sunday, 24 September Kick-off: 15:00 BSTCoverage: Live text and BBC local radio commentary on the BBC Sport websiteLondon Irish’s Johnny Williams returns for his first appearance of the season after recovering from injury.Williams is back following a hamstring problem and is one of five changes with Napolioni Nalaga making his full debut.Northampton Saints make one change as they seek a third successive victory, with Sam Dickinson replacing Teimana Harrison (shoulder) at number eight.

Tom Wood and Stephen Myler are not yet ready for action despite being back in training this week.London Irish’s other three changes come in the pack with Petrus Du Plessis replacing injured Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Achilles), Josh McNally coming in at blind-side flanker and Conor Gilsenan playing at open-side flanker with Blair Cowan moving to number eight.Northampton captain Courtney Lawes told BBC Radio Northampton: “It was a pressure situation (last week) with Bath being on good form and at home, but I really enjoyed being captain (for the first time). “I’ve got to thank the lads for putting in the work they did and it was a really good result.”I don’t talk too much, I say things if they need to be said. Generally, I just try to keep the boys positive and lead by example to the best of my ability.”Every game is tough nowadays in the league. London Irish are a big pack, they’ve got some really good players in their team and if we’re not on good form, they’ll turn us over no doubt.”Match factsLondon Irish have lost their last two Premiership matches, 7-37 at Exeter and 7-36 at Sale. But the Exiles have won their last three matches at the Madejski Stadium since losing to Jersey in the semi-final of last season’s British & Irish Cup.Northampton have lost only once in their opening three Premiership games, 55-24 to Saracens in this season’s London double header, which also saw London Irish play Harlequins at Twickneham on the same day.Saints have lost their last three Premiership away games – but the only loss in their last seven Premiership meetings with London Irish was the 25-23 defeat on their most recent trip to Reading on Boxing Day 2015.London Irish: T Bell; Lewington, Tikoirotuma, Williams, Nalaga; Marshall, McKibbin; Franks (capt), Porecki, Du Plessis, Van der Merwe, De Chaves, McNally, Gilsenan, CowanReplacements: Paice, Elrington, Hoskins, Paulo, Schatz, Steele, Tonks, OjoNorthampton: Tuala; North, Horne, Burrell, Collins; Mallinder, Groom; Waller, Haywood, Hill, Paterson, Ribbans, Lawes (capt), Gibson, Dickinson.Replacements: Marshall, Ma’afu, Brookes, Day, Ludlam, Reinach, Grayson, Foden.

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