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Northampton Saints make 7 changes for crucial Champions Cup semi-final against Leinster

Northampton Saints have made seven changes to the side that lost 42-31 to Harlequins last week, as they look to stun tournament favourites Leinster. 

England international Fraser Dingwall comes back into the starting team for Tom Litchfield, with Litchfield dropping to the bench.

Elsewhere in the backline, George Hendy returns to the team in place of Ollie Sleightholme, who picked up a concussion against Harlequins last weekend. Hendy joins up with George Furbank and James Ramm in the back three. Dingwall partners Tommy Freeman in midfield, and Fin Smith and Alex Mitchell again link up at 9 and 10.

In the pack, Curtis Langdon comes straight into the starting line-up, as does Alex Waller. The pair are joined by Trevor Davison in the front-row. Alex’s Moon and Coles reignite their partnership in the second-row as both return to the team. Courtney Lawes will lead his team out as captain, and he is again named on the flanks. Sam Graham and Juarno Augustus complete the starting team.

Phil Dowson has also named a strong bench, with Sam Matavesi, the afore mentioned Litchfield and Tom Seabrook included.

Leinster have also named an incredibly strong team, with 12 Irish internationals named in the starting side.

Ciaran Frawley starts at fullback, with Jordan Lamour and James Lowe named on the wings. 22-year-old Jamie Osborne will again partner Robbie Henshaw in midfield, with Gary Ringrose not included in the 23-man-squad. Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park complete the starting backline.

In the pack, Irish internationals Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong all start in the front row. Bath-bound Ross Molony and Joe McCarthy start in the second row. Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier and skipper Caelan Doris complete the XV.

Ronan Kelleher, Jack Conan and Luke McGrath are the headline names on the bench.

Leinster vs Northampton Saints team news in full

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Leinster

Starting XV: Ciaran Frawley, Jordan Larmour, Robbie Henshaw, Jamie Osborne, James Lowe, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Joe McCarthy, Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris (c)

Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Jason Jenkins, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Harry Byrne, Jimmy O’Brien

Northampton Saints

Starting XV: George Furbank, James Ramm, Tommy Freeman, Fraser Dingwall, George Hendy, Fin Smith, Alex Mitchell; Alex Waller, Curtis Langdon, Trevor Davison, Alex Moon, Alex Coles, Courtney Lawes (c), Sam Graham, Juarno Augustus

Replacements: Sam Matavesi, Emmanuel Iyogun, Elliot Millar Mills, Temo Mayanavanua, Angus Scott-Young, Tom James, Tom Litchfield, Tom Seabrook