Two changes for Saints as May and van Velze step up for Sale showdown

STARTING ROLE - Saints centre Tom May (Picture: Linda Dawson)
STARTING ROLE - Saints centre Tom May (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Saints have made two changes to their team to face Sale Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday with George Pisi and Samu Manoa nursing injuries.

Tom May and GJ van Velze are the men to come in, with Pisi out all together and Manoa only able to make the bench.

Both players picked up hamstring injuries in the 31-14 win at London Welsh last weekend and were forced off early.

Tom Mercey (broken hand) and Dom Waldouck (hamstring) are unavailable, while Calum Clark, who made his return from injury last weekend, is again on the bench.

This weekend’s clash provides the Franklin’s Gardens faithful with a chance to say goodbye to some of the players who will be leaving the club this summer.

And one of those, prop star Brian Mujati, who is off to Racing Metro this summer, admits it will be an emotional day for all concerned.

It’s going to be special for me,” said the South African, who has made more than 100 appearances for Saints. “I’ve been here for a while and played a fair few games for the side. Hopefully it won’t be too emotional for me!

“The Gardens is a special place. The people have been very kind and welcoming to me and it’s been a special time in my career.

“I’m not looking too far ahead though. We’ve got a big game this weekend against a team who had a good win last time out and are going to be coming here feeling confident.

“It’s been a tough season for all of us and was good to get a win last weekend. Hopefully we can find form as a group and have a charge to the end. A lot of people have written us off, but we’re going to give it our best shot and see how we go.”

Saints team to face Sale, Franklin’s Gardens, Saturday, April 20 (KO 5.45pm): Ben Foden; Ken Pisi, Tom May, Luther Burrell, Jamie Elliott; Stephen Myler, Lee Dickson; Soane Tonga’uiha, Dylan Hartley, Brian Mujati, Courtney Lawes, Christian Day, Tom Wood, Phil Dowson, GJ van Velze.

Replacements: Mike Haywood, Alex Waller, Paul Doran-Jones, Samu Manoa, Calum Clark, Martin Roberts, Ryan Lamb, James Wilson