Mallinder keeps Saints changes to a minimum for Amlin Challenge Cup Final

BACK IN THE STARTING LINE-UP - scrum-half Lee Dickson replaces Kahn Fotuali'i (Picture: Linda Dawson)

BACK IN THE STARTING LINE-UP - scrum-half Lee Dickson replaces Kahn Fotuali'i (Picture: Linda Dawson)

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Jim Mallinder has opted against resting a host of key names for Saints’ Amlin Challenge Cup final clash with Bath on Friday night (kick-off 8pm).

There had been suggestions that Mallinder would leave out a number of frontline players in a bid to rest them for the Aviva Premiership final against Saracens on May 31.

But just five changes have been made from the team that claimed a stunning 21-20 victory against Leicester last Friday, with the likes of Stephen Myler, Tom Wood and George North once again in the starting 15.

Australian prop Salesi Ma’afu will miss the game as he serves a one-week suspension, with Tom Mercey coming in on the tighthead side.

Lee Dickson replaces Kahn Fotuali’i at scrum-half, while Alex Corbisiero starts in place of Alex Waller, Calum Clark comes in for Phil Dowson and Ken Pisi returns from injury to take over from Tom Collins on the wing.

Waller, Fotuali’i and Dowson are named on a strong replacements list for the trip to Cardiff Arms Park.

Meanwhile, Bath have been boosted by the return of flanker Francois Louw, who starts for the first time since tearing ankle ligaments at the end of March.

Saints: Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, North; Myler, L Dickson; Corbisiero, Haywood, Mercey; Manoa, Lawes; Clark, Wood (c), Dickinson.

Replacements: McMillan, A Waller, Denman, C Day, Dowson, Fotuali’i, Wilson, Stephenson.

Bath: Abendanon; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Devoto, Watson; Ford, Young; James, Dunn, Wilson; Hooper (c), Attwood; Fearns, Louw, Houston.

Replacements: Guinazu, Catt, Perenise, Day, Mercer, Stringer, Henson, Agulla.