Four changes as Saints prepare for Bath challenge

ALL CHANGE - Ryan Lamb has been dropped for the trip to Bath, and will be replaced by Stephen Myler
ALL CHANGE - Ryan Lamb has been dropped for the trip to Bath, and will be replaced by Stephen Myler

Saints have made four changes to their starting line-up for Friday night’s Aviva Premiership clash at Bath.

Dropping out are the suspended GJ van Velze and injured pair Brian Mujati and George Pisi, while fly-half Ryan Lamb has been demoted to the bench.

Replacing them are Rhys Oakley, Tom Mercey, Luther Burrell and Stephen Myler, while there is good news for Saints in that Courtney Lawes has been named on the bench.

Lawes has yet to play this campaign after injuring his elbow in pre-season.

Saints travel to Bath aiming to make it three straight wins, but director of rugby Jim Mallinder says the west country side - who has also won two out of two - will be a big test.

“Bath will be a big challenge,” he said. “They have started the season very well.

“In Round 1 they came from a long way behind against Worcester and held their nerve to win at Sixways, while against Wasps last weekend they put together some dangerous attacking moves.

“The Rec is always a tough place to play. It is a place where the fans are right on top of you and where it can be intimidating for visiting teams.

“So it is up to us as to how we respond, and we believe that we can do that in the right way.

“At times in our first two games we have played well and scored good tries. But we have also been guilty of not finishing games off and this is something we will be looking to improve.

“Despite having only had a five-day turnaround between matches out training has been very positive and all of the players are determined to keep our good start to the season going this Friday.”

Saints team to play Bath: Foden; K Pisi, Waldouck, Burrell, Artemyev; Myler, Dickson; Tonga’uiha, Hartley, Mercey, Manoa, Day, Dowson, Wood, Oakley. Replacements: Replacements: Haywood, Waller, Doran-Jones, Sorenson, Lawes, Roberts, Lamb, May.