International stars return for Saints as they gear up for Sale Sharks test

BACK IN THE GREEN, BLACK AND GOLD - England's (left to right) Courtney Lawes, Dylan Hartley, Luther Burrell, Lee Dickson and Tom Wood all start for Saints at Sale on Saturday (Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.)
BACK IN THE GREEN, BLACK AND GOLD - England's (left to right) Courtney Lawes, Dylan Hartley, Luther Burrell, Lee Dickson and Tom Wood all start for Saints at Sale on Saturday (Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.)

Saints have decided to wheel out the big guns for their Aviva Premiership trip to Sale Sharks on Saturday (ko 2pm).

All six of the club’s internationals that were involved in the Six Nations with England and Wales return to the starting line-up, as does Stephen Myler, who missed last Sunday’s LV= Cup Final defeat at Exeter due to injury.

Jim Mallinder has made seven changes to the team beaten 15-8 at Sandy Park, with England quintet Dylan Hartley, Lee Dickson, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood and Luther Burell all starting, along with Wales winger George North.

Burrell returns at inside centre, where he partners James Wilson, and with North coming onto the left wing Jamie Elliott switches to the right flank.

Samu Manoa’s absence on international duty with the USA in Uruguay means that Lawes partners Christian Day in the second row, with GJ Van Velze continuing at number eight.

Saints team to play Sale Sharks, Aviva Premiership, AJ Bell Stadium, Saturday, March 22, 2pm: Ben Foden; Jamie Elliott, James Wilson, Luther Burrell, George North; Stephen Myler, Lee Dickson; Alex Waller, Dylan Hartley (capt), Salesi Ma’afu, Courtney Lawes, Christian Day, Calum Clark, Tom Wood, GJ van Velze

Replacements: Mike Haywood, Gareth Denman, Tom Mercey, James Craig, Phil Dowson, Kahn Fotuali’i, Will Hooley, George Pisi