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Lewis Ludlam to lead Northampton Saints in East Midlands derby

Outgoing back-rower Lewis Ludlam will lead Northampton Saints into battle this weekend, in what will likely be his final East Midlands derby. 

The England international is one of six changes to the Saints starting 15 this weekend. Up front, Alex Waller and Elliott Millar-Mills come into the front-row and Temo Mayanavanua slots into the engine room with Alex Coles moves across to the blindside.

Elsewhere in the pack, in-form hooker Curtis Langdon retains his starting spot, as does Alex Moon. Juamo Augustus completes the starting eight.

There are also three changes in the backs. George Furbank is given a go at fly-half, with Fin Smith dropping to the bench. Tom Seabrook comes onto the wing for Ollie Sleightholme and Tom Litchfield is named at 13 as Tommy Freeman is named as a replacement.

James Ramm is named at 15, and he will look to combine well with winger George Hendy again this weekend. Fraser Dingwall also retains his starting spot at 12.

Leicester Tigers team news

Credit: IMAGO

Leicester Tigers legend Dan Cole will set a new club record this weekend, as he makes his 235th league appearance. The tighthead prop, who also has over 100 caps for England, overtakes fellow prop Graham Rowntree in the list. He is part of an unchanged front-row, alongside James Cronin and Julian Montoya.

Cole is named in a pack alongside England U20s captain Finn Carnduff, who makes his first Gallagher Premiership start. He comes in for Hanro Liebenburg in the back-row. Elsewhere, Ollie Chessum and Tommy Reffell return to the squad following their enforced post-Six Nations rest period.

Jamie Shillcock retains his spot at fullback, which keeps England international Freddie Steward in the 14 jersey this week. Dan Kelly and Solomone Kata will keep their flourishing centre partnership going this weekend, as will half-backs Handre Pollard and Jack van Poortvleit.

East Midlands derby teams in full

Northampton Saints

James Ramm, George Hendy, Tom Litchfield, Fraser Dingwall, Tom Seabrook, George Furbank, Alex Mitchell; Alex Waller, Curtis Langdon, Elliot Millar Mills, Alex Moon, Temo Mayanavanua, Alex Coles, Lewis Ludlam (c), Juarno Augustus

Replacements: Robbie Smith, Tarek Haffar, Trevor Davison, Tom Lockett, Sam Graham, Tom James, Fin Smith, Tommy Freeman

Leicester Tigers 

Jamie Shillcock, Freddie Steward, Dan Kelly,  Solomone Kata, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Handré Pollard, Jack van Poortvliet; James Cronin, Julián Montoya, Dan Cole, Harry Wells, Ollie Chessum, Finn Carnduff, Tommy Reffell, Jasper Wiese

Replacements: Charlie Clare, Francois van Wyk, Will Hurd, Kyle Hatherell,  Olly Cracknell, Ben Youngs, Phil Cokanasiga, Mike Brown