FORMER Springbok Zane Kirchner will make his Dragons bow at Northampton this afternoon in a side bolstered by players from the Principality Premiership.

New boss Bernard Jackman has had to divide his senior squad for a weekend double-header, the first part of which saw the Rodney Parade side downed 40-15 by Top 14 big guns Montpellier on Friday evening.

Several first-teamers were sent home early from a week-long training camp in France to strengthen the side to face the Saints.

Full-back Kirchner and fellow South African Brok Harris stayed at home last week and start at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 3pm), the tighthead captaining the side.

Experience comes in the shape of centre Adam Warren, fly-half Dorian Jones and lock Rynard Landman while loosehead Luke Garrett, number eight Robson Blake and new front row recruits Liam Belcher, Gerard Ellis and Dan Suter will look to press their claims for inclusion in the Guinness PRO14 opener with Leinster on Saturday, September 2.

The double-header means that former Scarlets and Ospreys back rower Morgan Allen, now with Bedwas, starts with RGC’s Henri Williams partnering Landman in the second row.

Cross Keys scrum-half James Leadbeater, flanker Rhys Jenkins and fly-half Matt O’Brien of Newport and Bedwas back row forward Andrew Waite are on the bench.

Northampton have divided their squad into two teams that will enjoy a half of rugby each.

Former England full-back Ben Foden captains a side for the first 40 that also includes South African scrum-half Nic Groom, England forwards Kieran Brookes and Teimana Harrison and ex-Cardiff Blues lock Michael Paterson.

After the break the likes of England’s Luther Burrell and Tonga’s Nafi Tuitavake join forces in midfield, new boy Piers Francis pulls the strings from fly-half fresh from his Test bow in Argentina and stalwart Christian Day will guide the pack from lock.

Lions George North and Courtney Lawes and club captain Dylan Hartley do not feature.

Northampton first half: B Foden (captain), T Collins, T Stephenson, R Hutchinson, JP Estelles, J Grayson, N Groom, J Ford-Robinson, M Haywood, K Brookes, M Paterson, J Craig, J Gibson, B Nutley, T Harrison.

Northampton second half: H Mallinder, J Elliot, N Tuitavake, L Burrell, G Furbank, P Francis, T Kessell, A Waller, C Clare, P Hill, C Day, S Dickinson (captain), D Ribbans, L Ludlam, M Eadie

Dragons: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Jared Rosser, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Joe Goodchild, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Owain Leonard; 1 Luke Garrett, 2 Liam Belcher, 3 Brok Harris ©, 4 Henri Williams (RGC), 5 Rynard Landman, 6 Morgan Allen (Bedwas), 7 Dawid Rubasniak, 8 Robson Blake.

Replacements: Gerard Ellis, Keagan Bale, Dan Suter, Rhys Jenkins (Newport RFC), Andrew Waite (Bedwas), James Leadbeater (Cross Keys), Matt O’Brien (Newport RFC), Barney Nightingale.