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Milestones for Northampton Saints stars in European Champions Cup

Northampton Saints' Paul Hill is tackled by Leinster players during the their Heineken European Champions Cup pool one match at Franklin's Gardens. Hill will make his 100th club appearance in Dublin. Credit: PA.

Two of Northampton Saints' longest serving players will reach appearance milestones in their latest group game at the European Champions Cup.

Flanker Tom Wood will make his 200th club appearance at Leinster. He will also skipper the side while prop forward Paul Hill will reach a century of games.

Both will start Saturday's (December 14) fixture, one which the Saints are desperate to win to keep alive their hopes of winning Pool One.

They conceded seven tries in losing by 43 points to 16 at Franklin's Gardens last Saturday (December 7).

Director of Rugby Chris Boyd has made 8 changes to the team which started last time out.

Among the replacements is Fiji international Sam Matavesi, who's set for his Saints debut if introduced.

The 27 year old, who played in all four of their group games at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, joined the Saints from RFU Championship outfit Cornish Pirates.

He can play in the back row but sees his main position as hooker, and knows he may have to be patient to get a run in the team.

"I think at this level I have to focus on hooker, have to focus on the set-piece.

"That's one of the main jobs while I was at the World Cup with Fiji, so that's something that you bring with you to any team, the throwing and the scrummaging, and anything around that is usually a plus.

"Mikey Haywood and Michael van Vurren have done an awesome job and the Saints are currently sitting top of the Premiership, so something's going well.

"I just want to come in, help them share the load and just play."

– Sam Matavesi, Northampton Saints hooker

Northampton Saints hooker Sam Matavesi speaks to ITV News Anglia ahead of a possible debut against Leinster in the European Champions Cup