Hanrahan hands Saints a big injury boost

JJ Hanrahan is available for Saints selection (picture: Sharon Lucey)
JJ Hanrahan is available for Saints selection (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Saints have been boosted by the news that JJ Hanrahan is available for selection for Friday night’s game against Newcastle Falcons at Franklin’s Gardens.

Hanarahan has yet to play this season after suffering an ankle injury in the pre-season defeat to Ulster on August 26.

But he has been back in training during the past couple of weeks and is fit enough to face the Falcons, if selected.

The utility back, who has predominantly been picked at fly-half since joining Saints from Munster during the summer of 2015, will add extra competition to the squad.

And director of rugby Jim Mallinder said: “JJ has trained well again so this is the second week he’s been out in full training and he should be available for selection.”

More good news comes in the form of scrum-half Nic Groom.

He recently returned to South Africa to get married but is now back at the Gardens after having his honeymoon.

“He’s had a couple of weeks away over the Anglo-Welsh Cup period, getting married, and that was something we discussed before he came here,” Mallinder said.

“It was perfect timing for him to have a break, particularly as he’d played last season in the southern hemisphere.

“He’s back now, training with the team and available for selection.”

But Saints look set to be without Sam Dickinson and Lee Dickson this week after the duo were forced off early in last Friday’s 18-17 win at Worcester Warriors.

“They’re making progress, but they’re both pretty sore and they’ve not trained as yet this week,” Mallinder said.

“Sam Dickinson twisted his knee as he got his studs caught in the surface and Lee Dickson took a blow to his ribs.

“They’re both sore at the moment so we’ll have to see how they are.”