Saints recall Six Nations stars for Tigers showdown

Saints hand starts to all five of their Six Nations stars against Leicester Tigers at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 24th March 2017, 12:48 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th March 2017, 11:54 am
Christian Day and Courtney Lawes return to the Saints team for the clash with Tigers
Christian Day and Courtney Lawes return to the Saints team for the clash with Tigers

Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Louis Picamoles and George North come straight back into the starting 15 following the conclusion of their international commitments.

In all there are six changes to the team that saw off Sale Sharks last time out, with Christian Day also returning after recovering from injury.

Saints are able to name an extremely strong bench with top scorer Mike Haywood and in-form Teimana Harrison among the replacements.

Luther Burrell is also back in the squad after overcoming an ankle problem.

Tigers, who won the Anglo-Welsh Cup at The Stoop last Sunday, bring England duo Dan Cole and Ben Youngs back into their side.

Interim boss Aaron Mauger, in what will be his final game in charge, makes 11 changes to the team that beat Exeter Chiefs last weekend.

Leicester are currently three points ahead of Saints in the Aviva Premiership standings.

Tigers have won the past six meetings between the teams, but only one of those matches has been played in Northampton.

The last time Saints beat their local rivals was at The Gardens in December 2014.

Saints: Tuala; Foden, Tuitavake, Mallinder, North; Myler, Groom; A Waller, Hartley, Brookes; Lawes, Day; Wood (c), Clark, Picamoles.

Replacements: Haywood, E Waller, Hill, Gibson, Harrison, Dickson, Burrell, K Pisi.

Leicester Tigers: Veainu; Thompstone, Tait, Mermoz, Pietersen; Burns, B Youngs; Genge, T Youngs (c), Cole; Barrow, Kitchener; Fitzgerald, O’Connor, Hamilton.

Replacements: McGuigan, Rizzo, Cilliers, M Williams, McCaffrey, White, O Williams, Roberts.