Four key men back for Saints against Leinster

STARTING SPOT - Courtney Lawes returns to the Saints first 15 after coming off the bench at Worcester last weekend (Picture: Linda Dawson)
STARTING SPOT - Courtney Lawes returns to the Saints first 15 after coming off the bench at Worcester last weekend (Picture: Linda Dawson)
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Saints have brought in a quartet of key men for Saturday’s clash with Leinster at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 6pm).

James Wilson and George North return from injury and Wales duty respectively, while Courtney Lawes and Phil Dowson start after coming off the bench in the 33-10 Aviva Premiership win at Worcester last weekend.

Wilson comes in at full-back, North is on the wing, Lawes reunites with ‘bruise brother’ Samu Manoa in the second row and Dowson joins Tom Wood and Sam Dickinson in the back row.

Jamie Elliott is back on the bench after missing last weekend’s game with an ankle knock, while Ryan Glynn and Glenn Dickson are also among the replacements.

But Northampton will have to do without the services of several key men, with Ben Foden, Alex Corbisiero and Kahn Fotuali’i injured and George Pisi suspended.

Leinster have 14 of the men who helped Ireland come so close against the All Blacks in Dublin recently in their squad.

Brian O’Driscoll starts alongside Gordon D’Arcy in the centre, while Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip provide a formidable back row platform.

Saints: Wilson; K Pisi, Waldouck, Burrell, North; Myler, L Dickson; A Waller, Hartley (c), Ma’afu, Manoa, Lawes, Wood, Dowson, Dickinson.

Replacements: Haywood, E Waller, Mercey, C Day, Clark, Glynn, G Dickson, Elliott.

Leinster: R Kearney; D Kearney, O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Fitzgerald; Madigan, Reddan; Healy, Cronin, Ross, Toner, McCarthy, Ruddock, O’Brien, Heaslip (c).

Replacements: Dundon, McGrath, Moore, Cullen, Jennings, Boss, Gopperth, Kirchner.