Boyd provides injury and availability update ahead of Saints' trip to Exeter

Saints boss Chris Boyd has confirmed summer signings Karl Wilkins and Frank Lomani are now available for selection.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 5:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 5:33 pm
Frank Lomani in training at Saints

But whether Boyd throws them straight in against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park on Saturday remains to be seen.

Scrum-half Lomani recently arrived from Fiji, while flanker Wilkins has finished serving a ban carried over from his time at Béziers last season.

And Boyd said: "He (Lomani) is probably ready to be selected if we want to.

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Tommy Freeman gets a pass away in training as Karl Wilkins watches on

"He's been in the country about a week now and he's got rid of his jet-lag.

"He's been training pretty hard back in the South Seas so he's available for selection."

And on Wilkins, Boyd said: "His ban is finished.

"He had three weeks so he missed last week as well.

"He's now available for selection.

"He's been training hard so he won't be far away from putting on the Northampton colours."

Saints were without a laundry list first-team players last weekend, but they eventually overcame Gloucester to bag a bonus-point 34-20 win at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens.

They will remain without British & Irish Lions stars Dan Biggar and Courtney Lawes for this weekend's trip to Sandy Park.

"We're going through a process at the moment," Boyd said.

"They've got a leave allocation and they're not going to play this weekend.

"We'll wait and see what happens after that."

New signing Courtnall Skosan, the South Africa wing, has yet to arrive in England, but another recent recruit, lock Brandon Nansen, has been training this week.

"He (Skosan) is not far away from departing from South Africa," Boyd said.

"Either way, he'll be at least another couple of weeks because he's got quarantining to do, coming out of South Africa, which is still a red zone country.

"He's a couple of weeks away."

Saints had several players who underwent surgery during the summer, including Tom James, Tommy Freeman, Reece Marshall and Piers Francis.

"All of them are in the return-to-play protocols," Boyd said.

"Tommy James certainly won't be available for this week.

"Tommy Freeman is there or thereabouts, but Reece Marshall is another couple of weeks away."

Powerhouse wing Taqele Naiyaravoro picked up a knee injury during the pre-season win at Bedford Blues earlier this month.

And Boyd said: "He got a knee injury so that's a four to six-week injury.

"We've got Wasps in Round 4 and then a bye week so he's probably two or three weeks away, I would say."

But there is better news on hooker Sam Matavesi, who is ready to return to action after missing last weekend's game.

"He's back and ready to go," Boyd said.

"He was a Covid close contact situation but he's got through his process and he's ready to go."

Ollie Sleightholme was named in England's 45-man training squad on Tuesday morning.

And the wing is closing in on a return to Saints action.

Boyd said: "He just had a little niggle last week and had to withdraw near the end so he's there or thereabouts."