Hanrahan starts at centre for Saints at Tigers

JJ Hanrahan starts at Welford Road (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
JJ Hanrahan starts at Welford Road (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

JJ Hanrahan will start at inside centre for Saints in their big east midlands battle at Leicester Tigers on Saturday (kick-off 5pm).

Hanrahan has yet to feature this season after injuring his ankle in the pre-season defeat at Ulster on August 26.

But he is thrown in at Welford Road, starting alongside Luther Burrell at centre.

Louis Picamoles and George North are also back in the side after returning from international duty with France and Wales respectively.

Christian Day misses out after taking a heavy blow to the head against Newcastle Falcons last Friday, meaning Michael Paterson and James Craig start in the second row.

Paul Hill replaces the suspended Kieran Brookes, with Gareth Denman the back-up tighthead prop..

George Pisi and Ken Pisi are back in the squad after international commitments with Samoa, and the duo start among the replacements.

Meanwhile, Tigers have resisted the temptation to start Manu Tuilagi, with the England star only on the bench.

Leicester Tigers: Worth; Thompstone, Betham, O Williams, Brady; Burns, Kitto; Mulipola, T Youngs (c), Bateman; Slater, Kitchener; Fitzgerald, O’Connor, Hamilton.

Replacements: Thacker, Genge, Cilliers, McCaffrey, Evans, Harrison, Tuilagi, Pietersen.

Saints: Foden (c); Elliott, Burrell, Hanrahan, North; Myler, Kessell; A Waller, Haywood, Hill; Paterson, Craig; Gibson, Nutley, Picamoles.

Replacements: Clare, E Waller, Denman, Ratuniyarawa, Ludlam, Groom, G Pisi, K Pisi.