Dowson to skipper much-changed Saints team at Newport

EXPERIENCED HEADS - Phil Dowson (left) skippers Saints at Newport while Glenn Dickson plays at fly-half (Picture: Linda Dawson)

EXPERIENCED HEADS - Phil Dowson (left) skippers Saints at Newport while Glenn Dickson plays at fly-half (Picture: Linda Dawson)

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Phil Dowson will captain a much-changed Saints team in Saturday’s LV= Cup clash against Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade.

With close to 20 players unavailable due to international calls and injuries, director of rugby Jim Mallinder has had to dig deep into his squad’s reserves for the trip to south Wales.

But he has still been able to name a strong side.

James Wilson returns for the first time since early December, with Ben Nutley another returnee from medium-term injury.

Dom Waldouck and Tom Stephenson renew their partnership in the centres, while GJ Van Velze, Teimana Harrison, Ross McMillan, Rob Verbakel, Matt Williams and Alex Day all come back into the match squad.

There are also two potential debutants on the bench in props Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi and Adam Parkins, who has been a regular with Moseley in the Championship this season.

Saints go into the game as leaders of pool four and will be keen to maintain their 100 per cent record in the competition.

Saints team to play Newport Gwent Dragons, LV= Cup Round 3, Rodney Parade, Saturday, January 25, KO 2.30pm: James Wilson; Ken Pisi, Tom Stephenson, Dom Waldouck, Fa’atoina Autagavaia; Glenn Dickson, Kahn Fotuali’i; Ethan Waller, Mike Haywood, Gareth Denman, Rob Verbakel, Christian Day, Teimana Harrison, Phil Dowson, GJ van Velze.

Replacements: Ross McMillan, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Adam Parkins, Ben Nutley, Matt Williams, Alex Day, Sam Olver, George Pisi