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Saints winger handed Welsh start

Northampton Saints winger George North has been named in the Wales side for the clash with South Africa.
Northampton Saints winger George North has been named in the Wales side for the clash with South Africa. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints winger George North has been named in the Wales side for this weekend's opening autumn international against South Africa.

The 21-year-old has been a regular in the welsh line-up since making his debut in 2010, and performed a starring role in this summer's Lions series.

North will take up his usual position on the wing, with debutant Eli Walker also part of the back three.

Wales team to face South Africa:

Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Eli Walker (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Unattached).

Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, captain), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons)

Mallinder "delighted" for Saints England stars

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that he is "delighted" for his England stars, despite them being unavailable for selection for the next few weeks of the Aviva Premiership campaign.

Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood and Lee Dickson have all been named in England's starting line-up for Saturday's clash against Australia at Twickenham, whilst Dylan Hartley and Ben Foden are amongst the replacements.

As a result, the quintet will all be missing for Northampton's trip to London Irish on Sunday as the Saints look to maintain their impressive start to the season.

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Saints trio handed England nod

Courtney Lawes has been in superb form so far this season.
Courtney Lawes has been in superb form so far this season. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints stars Lee Dickson, Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood have all been named in England's starting line-up for Saturday's crunch clash with Australia at Twickenham.

Lawes, who has made a blistering start to the Aviva Premiership season, has been rewarded for his fine form with a place in the second row alongside Joe Launchbury, whilst 26-year-old Wood keeps his spot at flanker.

Lee Dickson has been preferred at scrum-half to Leicester Tigers' Ben Youngs.

Meanwhile, Northampton captain Dylan Hartley will have to settle for a place on the bench after Tom Youngs was named at hooker.

Ben Foden has also been selected as one of the replacements.

England team to face Australia: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Chris Ashton (Saracens), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Marland Yarde (London Irish), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)

Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens)

Replacements: Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), David Wilson (Bath), Dave Attwood (Bath), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)

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Rugby Union: Tom Wood in England squad

Northampton Saints flanker Tom Wood has been named in the England matchday squad for Saturday's test against Australia.

Wood's club colleagues Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley weren't selected for the Cook Cup encounter due to injury.

Full squad:

Forwards: D Cole (Leicester), T Johnson (Exeter), J Launchbury (Wasps), J Marler (Harlequins), T Palmer (Wasps), D Paice (London Irish), G Parling (Leicester), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), M Vunipola (Saracens), T Waldrom (Leicester), D Wilson (Bath), T Wood (Northampton), T Youngs (Leicester).

Backs: C Ashton (Saracens), B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), O Farrell (Saracens), T Flood (Leicester, A Goode (Saracens), C Sharples (Gloucester), M Tuilagi (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester).

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