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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Friday, March 8th 2019

Team news: Northampton Saints vs Bristol Bears

Jake Heenan will make his Gallagher Premiership debut when Bristol Bears face Northampton Saints on Saturday (2.45pm KO).

  • Jake Heenan set for first Premiership outing
  • Lam makes one change for Franklin’s Gardens
  • Bears go in search of first league away victory of campaign
  • Bristol look for back-to-back league wins for first time this season

The back rower is the only change to the side that overcame Gloucester in style last weekend.

Callum Sheedy recovers from a dead leg to retain his place in the starting line-up, although Dan Thomas (head) is unavailable.

“Franklin’s Gardens is a fantastic atmosphere and wonderful people, so we’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a tough challenge, so playing well as a team will give us the best opportunity to get the five points on offer.”

Head coach Pat Lam

Head coach Lam said: “We’ve talked about backing up our performances, celebrating the work we do on the training field, and that’s an important focus for us this week.

“Saints are playing great rugby, winning five of their last six games. Chris Boyd has made a big difference to the way they play. They’re similar to us in the way they like to use the ball, so it’s going to be a great day.

“Franklin’s Gardens is a fantastic atmosphere and wonderful people, so we’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a tough challenge, so playing well as a team will give us the best opportunity to get the five points on offer.”

Bristol Bears team to face Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday, March 9th (2.45pm KO):

15. Charles Piutau; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Siale Piutau (co-capt), 11. Luke Daniels; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. John Afoa, 4. Joe Batley, 5. Chris Vui, 6. Steve Luatua, 7. Jake Heenan, 8. Jordan Crane (co-capt).

Replacements: 16. Sam Parry, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. Lewis Thiede, 19. George Smith, 20. Jack Lam, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Ian Madigan, 23. Mat Protheroe.

Unavailable: Will Capon (shoulder), Shaun Malton (groin), Sione Faletau (ankle), Jake Armstrong (rib), Joe Latta (eye), Sam Jeffries (back), Aly Muldowney (knee), Joe Joyce (ankle), Ed Holmes (ankle), John Hawkins (elbow), James Dun (knee), Dan Thomas (head), Will Hurrell (shoulder), Ryan Edwards (shoulder), Alapati Leiua (suspension).