Saints set to rethink 6:2 split for Tigers showdown

Chris Boyd admits Saints could change the number of backs on their bench for Saturday's East Midlands derby against Leicester Tigers.

By Tom Vickers
Monday, 25th October 2021, 12:01 pm
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 12:02 pm
Chris Boyd
Chris Boyd

During the past three matches, Boyd has opted for a 6:2 split on the bench, meaning he has had six forwards and two backs as his replacements.

But injuries have really hit Saints during their past two games, against Wasps and, last Friday, against Worcester Warriors.

In both matches Saints have lost two backs to injury, with Matt Proctor and George Furbank forced off after first-half problems at Wasps and Ollie Sleightholme and Piers Francis sustaining injuries against Worcester.

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Sleightholme was withdrawn with a hamstring issue last Friday, while Francis failed a head injury assessment, and both would appear likely to miss the game against Leicester.

And though Saints have felt having just two backs on the bench has offered more reward than risk, Boyd says the approach could alter against unbeaten Tigers this weekend.

"We'll probably have to revisit our 6:2 split because when you get an injury in your backs it makes it really difficult," Boyd said.

"Both sides will be affected by their England players being away and we took three or four knocks against Worcester that might be problematic for this week so it's going to test our depth further.

"But we'll go out there and we'll be trying, that's for sure."

So what is Boyd expecting from the clash with the current Gallagher Premiership table-toppers?

"It's going to be a bit different to last Friday's game," he said.

"We're looking forward to hosting the Tigers in front of what is going to be a sold-out stadium at the Gardens.

"We have enjoyed a reasonable amount of success against Tigers recently but they've found their DNA and they know what's good for them."