England stars named on bench as Saints make two changes for Treviso trip

BENCH ROLE - Saints skipper Dylan Hartley doesn't start the Champions Cup match in Treviso
BENCH ROLE - Saints skipper Dylan Hartley doesn't start the Champions Cup match in Treviso

Saints’ England trio Dylan Hartley, Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes all have to make do with places on the replacements’ bench for Saturday’s European Champions Cup pool match in Treviso - while George North has been left out of the matchday 23.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder has decided to keep faith with the players that have served the club so well during the autumn international series, and there are just two changes to the team that won so comfortably at London Welsh last Sunday.

Sam Dickinson comes in for his first start of the season in the second row, with Samu Manoa switching back to No.8 and Phil Dowson moving to the flank.

In the backs, Ken Pisi returns on the wing with James Wilson dropping to the bench.

The bench is particularly strong, with Hartley, Wood and Lawes being joined by Wilson, the fit-again George Pisi, Ethan Waller, Gareth Denman and Kahn Fotuali’i.

North, who was a doubt for the game after receiving concussion while playing for Wales against the All Blacks last month, is not risked.

Saints team: Ben Foden; Ken Pisi, Tom Stephenson, Luther Burrell, Jamie Elliott; Stephen Myler, Lee Dickson; Alex Waller, Mike Haywood, Salesi Ma’afu, Sam Dickinson, Christian Day, Calum Clark, Phil Dowson, Samu Manoa.

Replacements: Dylan Hartley, Ethan Waller, Gareth Denman, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Kahn Fotuali’i. George Pisi, James Wilson

Treviso team: Jayden Hayward; Simone Ragusi, Michele Campagnaro, Sam Christie, Ludovico Nitoglia; Joe Carlisle, Alberto Lucchese; Matteo Muccignat, Davide Giazzon, Salesi Manu, Francesco Minto, Antonio Pavanello, Simone Favaro, Alessandro Zanni, Dean Budd

Replacements: Amar Kudin, Matteo Zanusso, Romulo Acosta, Marco Fuser, Tomas Vallejos, Marco Barbini, Luca Morisi, Edoardo Gori