Big guns return for Saints as they prepare for Tigers test

STARTING ROLE - Kahn Fotuali'i has been recalled at scrum-half for Friday night's play-off semi-final clash with Leicester Tigers (Picture: Linda Dawson)

STARTING ROLE - Kahn Fotuali'i has been recalled at scrum-half for Friday night's play-off semi-final clash with Leicester Tigers (Picture: Linda Dawson)

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Saints have brought some big guns off the bench for their crunch Aviva Premiership play-off semi-final clash with Leicester Tigers at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night (7.45pm kick-off).

George Pisi, Kahn Fotuali’i, Tom Wood and Samu Manoa all start, having been used as replacements in last Saturday’s 74-13 demolition of Wasps.

Courtney Lawes, who was rested for that game, is also back in the side, while Ross McMillan returns to take his place on the bench.

Phil Dowson will skipper the side, with club captain Dylan Hartley still out with a shoulder injury, while wing Jamie Elliott also misses out on a place in the 23.

Leicester are without the services of inside centre Anthony Allen, while fly-half Owen Williams is only fit enough for a place on the bench, with Toby Flood at 10.

Tigers are able to call for the cavalry up front, though, with the likes of Tom Youngs and Logovi’i Mulipola, who were rested for last weekend’s win against Saracens, returning.

Saints: Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, North; Myler, Fotuali’i; A Waller, Haywood, Ma’afu, Manoa, Lawes; Dowson (c), Wood, Dickinson.

Replacements: McMillan, Corbisiero, Mercey, C Day, Clark, L Dickson, Wilson, Stephenson.

Leicester Tigers: Tait; Morris, Tuilagi, Bowden, Goneva; Flood, B Youngs; Ayerza, T Youngs, Mulipola; Deacon, Slater (c); Gibson, Salvi, Crane.

Replacements: Briggs, Bristow, Balmain, Kitchener, Mafi, Mele, Williams, Thompstone.