European Rugby Challenge Cup: Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints


Courtney Lawes will skipper Northampton at Clermont where they are yet to win a match
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Venue: Stade Marcel Michelin Date: Saturday, 12 January Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC local radio; live scores on the BBC Sport website

England forward Courtney Lawes leads Northampton for their crucial European Challenge Cup match at Clermont.

A win for second-placed Saints would keep them in contention for automatic qualification for the quarter-finals.

Lawes joins flanker Heinrich Brussow in the back row, Api Ratuniyarawa partners David Ribbans in the second row while Alex Mitchell and James Fish start at scrum-half and hooker respectively.

Pool leaders Clermont will themselves reach the last eight with a victory.

Their six changes include the return of captain Morgan Parra, as well as Benjamin Kayser, Wesley Fofana and Arthur Iturria.

Former Leicester and Australia back Peter Betham starts at full-back while Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw is among their replacements.

Clermont: Betham; Penaud, Moala, Fofana, Grosso; Lopez, Parra (capt), Falgoux, Kayser, Zirakashvili, Timani, Vahaamahina, Iturria, Cancoriet, Yato.

Replacements: Ulugia, Uhila, Falatea, Van der Merwe, Chouly, Laidlaw, Fernandez, Lamerat.

Northampton: Tuala; Collins, Dingwall, Burrell, Naiyaravoro; Biggar, Mitchell; Van Wyk, Fish, Painter, Ribbans, Ratuniyarawa, Lawes (capt), Brussow, Harrison.

Replacements: Marshall, Waller, Franks, Wood, Ludlam, Reinach, Grayson, Kellaway.

Referee: John Lacey (Ire)

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