Hartley returns to boost Saints for Castres Champions Cup clash
Dylan Hartley makes his long-awaited return from injury when Saints take on Castres in the Champions Cup on Saturday (ko 3.15pm).
The hooker has been named in the team to face the French side at Stade Pierre Antoine, and also returning to the pack is Courtney Lawes.
The pair are two of five changes to the Saints side that edged past Montpellier in the campaign opener at Franklin’s Gardens last Saturday night.
A third change to the pack sees Teimana Harrison included, while Rory Hutchinson comes in at centre and James Wilson on the wing.
Hartley’s return is a huge boost for Saints, with the England captain set to make his first appearance for his club since the September 11 win at Bristol in the Aviva Premiership.
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Hartley has been sidelined since then with a back problem.
Lawes is also fit again after missing the Montpellier game with a knee problem.
Saints team v Castres (ko 3.15pm): Ben Foden; James Wilson, Rory Hutchinson, Harry Mallinder, George North; Stephen Myler, Nic Groom; Alex Waller, Dylan Hartley, Kieran Brookes, Courtney Lawes, Michael Paterson, Tom Wood, Teimana Harrison, Louis Picamoles. Replacements: Mikey Haywood, Ethan Waller, Paul Hill, Api Ratuniyarawa, Jamie Gibson, Lee Dickson, Nafi Tuitavake, Ahsee Tuala