European Rugby Champions Cup: Northampton Saints could face investigation

Leinster v Northampton
Northampton's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages are now over

Northampton may face an investigation by European Cup chiefs for fielding a weakened team in Saturday's 60-13 Champions Cup thrashing by Leinster.

The Premiership side rested Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Luther Burrell and Louis Picamoles for the trip to Dublin.

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) officials will routinely examine all team selections before deciding whether Northampton have a case to answer.

EPCR will make a decision on whether to investigate the Saints on Monday.

That is the same day Northampton are expected to find out whether they face sanction over the handling of George North's head injury in the recent Premiership match with Leicester.

TV replays appeared to show North lying motionless after a fall, but he returned to play after passing a pitch-side assessment.

Leinster moved Saturday's Pool 2 encounter from their usual home at the Royal Dublin Showground (RDS) to Lansdowne Road in anticipation of a big crowd and a competitive match.

The Irish side scored nine tries as they inflicted a record European defeat on the Saints.

Northampton's 10 changes included hooker Charlie Clare's inclusion in place of Dylan Hartley, who was suspended for six weeks for his swinging-arm tackle on Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien last weekend.

Saints face Sale Sharks in the Premiership on Friday.

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