No massive Saints shake-up for Tigers showdown

Dylan Hartley has not played for Saints since the defeat at Saracens on January 20 (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Dylan Hartley has not played for Saints since the defeat at Saracens on January 20 (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Alan Dickens says there will be no big shake-up as Saints bid to bounce back from their Saracens shocker against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.

The black, green and gold shipped 48 points in 37 second-half minutes as they were beaten 63-13 by the Barnet-based team at Franklin's Gardens last weekend.

Saints' options were limited by a lengthy injury list that included skipper Dylan Hartley (concussion) and Courtney Lawes (knee).

And they could again be without key men for the trip up the M1 this weekend, with doubts surrounding Harry Mallinder (illness) and Tom Wood (groin) among others.

When asked for an injury update, interim head coach Dickens said: "Dylan had delayed symptoms after the Ireland game so he's just been going through the return-to-play protocol.

"I won't say (what stage he's at) on an individual basis, but he's going through that.

"Harry Mallinder is more illness (which came after he had a funny turn following the Exeter game on February 24).

"Heinrich Brüssow is close, he's back running so he's very close for the weekend.

"Tom Wood is not running but he's on the mend.

"Luther Burrell trained all last week after a shoulder injury so he's got a couple of weeks under his belt now.

"David Ribbans came off with a shoulder injury so he's touch and go for this week."

And when asked whether the coaches have considered making wholesale changes following last weekend's defeat, Dickens said: "It won't be a massive shake-up."