Foden, North, Gibson and Dickson return as Saints gear up for Bath test

Saints welcome back several stars for Saturday's crucial Aviva Premiership clash with Bath at Franklin's Gardens (kick-off 3.15pm).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 29th April 2016, 12:30 pm
Updated Friday, 29th April 2016, 1:34 pm
WELCOME RETURN - George North starts for Saints against Bath on Saturday
WELCOME RETURN - George North starts for Saints against Bath on Saturday

Ben Foden, George North, Lee Dickson and Jamie Gibson all return after missing the defeat to Leicester Tigers on April 16.

And Kahn Fotuali’i will be on the bench, having been absent from the Tigers clash with a leg injury.

But there is still no Dylan Hartley, who remains sidelined with concussion.

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Saints know they must win this weekend as they bid to keep their top-four hopes alive and remain in the top six.

If Leicester lose at home to Worcester and Saints beat Bath, the battle for a play-off spot could go to the final weekend, when Jim Mallinder’s men go to Gloucester.

Meanwhile, Bath will be bidding to end a 16-year Franklin’s Gardens hoodoo this Saturday.

They have Francois Louw back in their starting 15, with the South African flanker skippering the ninth-placed side.

Rhys Priestland starts at fly-half ahead of George Ford, who is among the replacements.

Saints: Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, North; Myler, Dickson (c); A Waller, Haywood, Brookes; Lawes, Day; Gibson, Wood, Harrison.

Replacements: Marshall, Ma’afu, Hill, Matfield, Nutley, Fotuali’i, Hanrahan, Mallinder.

Bath: Watson; Williams, Joseph, Devoto, Banahan; Priestland, Cook; Catt, Webber, Wilson; Ewels, Attwood; Garvey, Louw (c), Denton.

Replacements: Dunn, Auterac, Lahiff, Day, Houston, W Homer, Ford, Clark.