Saints boss Mallinder hopes to welcome trio back for Castres clash

Courtney Lawes missed the clash with Montpellier due to a knee problem (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Courtney Lawes missed the clash with Montpellier due to a knee problem (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

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Jim Mallinder expects to welcome back Courtney Lawes, Dylan Hartley and Christian Day for Saturday’s clash with Castres at Stade Pierre Antoine.

Hartley has not played since the win at Bristol on September 11 due to a back injury, while Day has not featured this season because of a ruptured bicep.

Lawes was forced to miss last Saturday’s 16-14 win against Montpellier at Franklin’s Gardens due to a knee injury.

But Mallinder believes all three players could be available this weekend as buoyant Saints bid to make it two wins from as many matches in this season’s Champions Cup.

“It’s a good win on Saturday but if Stephen Myler had missed that kick it would have been doom and gloom and that is the small margins in professional sport,” said the Saints boss.

“But we got the win so we can go down to Castres now and we will have some players back.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Lawes is fit, Hartley is fit and there’s a possibility that Christian Day could be fit so that will give us some good options.

“It’s fantastic to see Api (Ratuniyarawa) in his first European start. I thought he carried the ball well into strong traffic and was really dynamic so that’s another good ball-carrying option for us.

“We’ll go down there buoyed by the performance against Montpellier and we’ll look forward to this challenge.”