Northampton v Bordeaux-Begles: Courtney Lawes & Dan Biggar return for Champions Cup


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Courtney Lawes receives treatment on the pitch after being hurt against Sale
Courtney Lawes has not played since injuring his ankle against Sale in September
Date: Friday, 11 December Kick-off: 17:30 GMT Venue: Franklin’s Gardens
Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio Northampton and online

Courtney Lawes and Dan Biggar will make their first Northampton appearances of the season after being named in the starting XV to face Bordeaux-Begles in Saints’ Heineken Champions Cup opener.

George Furbank returns at full-back on Friday, with Fiji hooker Sam Matavesi in the front row.

Wing Taqele Naiyaravoro will make his first start of the season.

Lewis Ludlam misses out in the back row with a shin injury.

Northampton, whose loss at Bristol last Friday was their 10th in a row, will play Bordeaux-Begles, who were top of the 2019-20 Top 14 standings before the season ended because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Pro14 champions Leinster home and away as part of the pool stages in the competition’s new format.

The French visitors include centre Yoram Moefana and flanker Cameron Woki, both of whom started Sunday’s Autumn Nations Cup final defeat by England.

However, Matthieu Jalibert, who was at fly-half at Twickenham, is only on the bench.

Northampton Saints: Furbank; Tuala, Proctor, Hutchinson, Naiyaravoro; Biggar, Mitchell; Auterac, Matavesi, Franks, Ribbans, Isiekwe, Lawes, Wood (capt), Adendorff

Replacements: Fish, Van Wyk, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Tonks, Taylor, Dingwall, Olowofela.

Bordeaux-Begles: Buros; Cordero, Moefana, Lamerat, Lam; Botica, Lucu; Paiva, Lamothe, Cobilas; Petti, Cazeaux; Woki, Diaby (capt), Higginbotham.

Replacements: Kaulashvili, Maynadier, Tameifuna, Marais, Tauleigne, Gimbert, Jalibert, Uberti.

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