Premiership: Northampton v Saracens – Dylan Hartley and Billy Vunipola start


Dylan Hartley has been capped 93 times by England
Aviva Premiership
Venue: Franklins Gardens Date: Saturday, 15 September Kick-off: 15:00 BST Coverage: Updates on BBC local radio and live scores on the BBC Sport website

England duo Dylan Hartley and Billy Vunipola will make their first starts of the season when Northampton Saints host Saracens on Saturday.

Both are looking to prove their fitness before the autumn internationals.

Saints hooker Hartley, 32, has not started a match since March after suffering concussion and Sarries number eight Vunipola, 25, is back in action after breaking his arm in June.

They both scored tries as replacements on their return from injury last week.

Hartley, who has been tipped to regain the England captaincy, missed England’s summer tour to South Africa, while Vunipola was injured against the Springboks in June,

Meanwhile, England fly-half Owen Farrell is also missing for Saracens with a “minor strain” and has been replaced by Alex Goode.

England face South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday, 3 November and host New Zealand the following Saturday and Japan on 17 November.

Northampton: Tuala; Naiyaravoro, Burrell, Francis, Collins; Biggar, Reinach; Waller (co-capt), Hartley (co-capt), Painter, Ribbans, Lawes, Haskell, Brussow, Harrison.

Replacements: Haywood, van Wyk, Franks, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Mitchell, Symons, Mallinder.

Saracens: Williams; Strettle, Lewington, Barritt (capt), Tompkins; Goode, Spencer; M Vunipola, George, Koch, Itoje, Skelton, Isiekwe, Rhodes, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Tolofua, Barrington, Lamositele, Kruis, Earl, Wigglesworth, Lozowski, Maitland.

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