Foden, Dickson, Hartley and Pisi all set to return for Saints

HE'S BACK - Ben Foden will be in the Saints squad for Friday night's trip to Sale Sharks (Picture: Linda Dawson)

HE'S BACK - Ben Foden will be in the Saints squad for Friday night's trip to Sale Sharks (Picture: Linda Dawson)

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Jim Mallinder has confirmed Ben Foden will be in the Saints squad for the game at Sale on Friday night.

And the director of rugby faces a big decision whether or not to start the England full-back, who has missed the past 10 games with an ankle ligament injury.

Lee Dickson will also be back in the Northampton squad, while Dylan Hartley and George Pisi are also set to return.

Dickson missed last weekend’s win against London Welsh due to a shoulder injury, while Hartley has been out since suffering a knee injury against Saracens on October 27 and Pisi has been in international duty with Samoa.

Foden last week told the Chron he was targeting the clash with former club Sale to make his comeback from injury, and Mallinder said: “He’s trained all week so he will be available.

“Whether we put him on the bench or we start him, we’ll just have to see how he reacts.

“He trained fully on Tuesday and he’s looked fresh.”

On Pisi, Mallinder said: “We’re hopeful but we’re not certain. George has been away, he’s played three 80 minutes of tough international Test rugby, most recently the game against France.

“He’s had a good series there but he’s not trained properly with us so we’ll have to see how he goes.”

Meanwhile, Courtney Lawes will miss the trip to the Salford City Stadium as he has been retained by England ahead of their clash with New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday.

Tom Wood, who started against South Africa last weekend, will also remain in the Red Rose camp, but Dickson and Phil Dowson have once again been released.

And on Hartley, Mallinder added: “Again with Dylan Hartley, he’s training, not completely full on as yet, so we’ll have to see how he goes.”