The Premiership Rugby Cup pool-stage reaches its conclusion this weekend and Northampton Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd has signalled his intention to ring the changes.
Saints travel to Kingsholm on Friday evening with the second-best points total in the competition, allowing Boyd to take the leisure of introducing the likes of Piers Francis, Alex Waller and Teimana Harrison into his matchday-23 after a period of rest.
With a short turnaround of five days separating Northampton’s win over Wasps and their Pool 3 encounter with the Cherry and Whites, Boyd said circumstances had presented an opportunity to give some players game time ahead of the return of the Premiership season next weekend.
“With these PRC games in a block of three, every club is taking it a bit differently,” Boss explained.
“Some clubs played a strong side in rounds one and two and are going to give those players a rest in round three to go back into the Premiership the following week.
“In our two games, we’ve picked young players and the problematic thing for us is that we’ve got a short turnaround this week, going from a Sunday to a Friday.
“So if I’m transparent, there won’t be many guys who played on Sunday who will be playing on Friday.”
Saints 15-14 victory over Wasps at the Ricoh featured youngsters Fraser Dingwall, Ollie Sleightholme and a debut for back row Paddy Ryan, but a experience is set to shuffle into the XV for Friday.
Saints are in pole position to reach the semi-finals with a ‘Derby Game’ against Leicester Tigers to come in round 4.