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Wood on the bench again for England against Italy

The England team to face Italy on Sunday. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northampton Saints flanker Tom Wood will have to settle for a place on the bench again when England face Italy on Sunday.

Wasps' James Haskell has been preferred at openside, replacing Jack Clifford who started against the win against Wales.

Haskell is one of four changes to the starting XV, with Danny Care, Ben Te'o and Jonny May also coming in.

Saints hooker Dylan Hartley will captain the side as usual.

England v Italy, RBS Six Nations, Sunday 26 February, 3pm

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Northampton Saints wing North back in Wales team

George North is back for Wales. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints wing George North will start for Wales in their Six Nations clash against Scotland on Saturday after recovering from a bruised thigh.

The 24-year-old missed the narrow defeat to England last time out, but will now return to the starting XV at Murrayfield.

His replacement Alex Cuthbert has been dropped from the squad entirely, but Ross Moriarty keeps his place at number eight despite the return of Taulupe Faletau.

  • Wales team to face Scotland

L Halfpenny (Toulon); G North (Northampton), J Davies (Scarlets), S Williams (Scarlets), L Williams (Scarlets), D Biggar (Ospreys), R Webb (Ospreys), R Evans (Scarlets), K Owens (Scarlets), T Francis (Exeter), J Ball (Scarlets), AW Jones (Ospreys, capt), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues), J Tipuric (Ospreys), R Moriarty (Gloucester)

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Saints Chief Executive blows whistle on career

Northampton Saints Chief Executive retires. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints have announced that Chief Executive Allan Robson will be retiring at the end of the season.

Robson has been at Franklin’s Gardens for nearly two decades, joining as commercial director in 2000 and then stepping up to chief executive in 2006.

He said:

It has been a rollercoaster ride at times and while the successes we have had on and off the pitch have been enjoyable, I am also very proud of the way we have come through the low points, too, which have given us the strength to make us the club we are today.

“The Saints supporters are second to none in their passion and desire for us to do well, and we have the best group of sponsors in the league. It has also been an exciting time to be a part of club rugby, which has grown dramatically over the past few seasons.

– Allan Robson

Northampton's North ruled out of Wales v England clash

George North won't feature against England. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints wing George North will not play for Wales against England today in the Six Nations after failing to recover from a leg injury.

The 24-year-old was named in the original starting XV, but has failed a late fitness test.

He will be replaced by Alex Cuthbert who scored two tries in the Six National title decider between the two sides in Cardiff four years ago.

Northampton Saints land Australian international Horne

Rob Horne has signed for Northampton Saints. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints have signed Australian international Rob Horne.

The 27-year-old will join up with the club next season, bringing to an end a nine-year stay with the NSW Waratahs.

Outside centre Horne has 33 caps for his country and was named as the Wallabies' vice-captain in 2016.

Rob has played at the highest level of the sport for nearly a decade and we’re delighted that he has put pen to paper and agree to come to Franklin’s Gardens.

He’s going to be a real asset for us, both with his quality of play and his leadership experience in what is a crucial position.

– Jim Mallinder, Northampton Saints director of Rugby

Horne himself said that he was looking forward to the next stage of his career in England and trying to help his new team push on in the Aviva Premiership.

“Northampton is a club with a strong history and I look forward to being a part of that at the club,” Horne said.

"I’m excited for the journey ahead and experiencing Aviva Premiership and European rugby.”

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