Wood back in training as Saints prepare for 'tough' selection talk ahead of Tigers tussle

Phil Dowson has confirmed that Tom Wood has returned to training ahead of Saturday's Gallagher Premiership semi-final at Leicester Tigers (kick-off 4.30pm).

By Tom Vickers
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 5:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 5:42 pm
Tom Wood said goodbye at the Gardens last weekend
Tom Wood said goodbye at the Gardens last weekend

Wood, scorer of one of the most famous Saints tries in derby-day history, back in May 2014, suffered a shoulder injury in the defeat at Leicester in February.

It looked like it would mean he would be unable to play for the black, green and gold again as he is retiring from rugby this summer.

But there is a slight chance he could still have a part to play in the Premiership title push.

"Even Tom Wood strapped himself up and trained today," said forwards coach Dowson at Tuesday's media session.

"I don't know (if he'll feature against Leicester) because it's the first time I've seen him train and he had a considerable amount of strapping on.

"He really enjoyed it, I can tell you that from his reaction.

"We have to see how he went with that training, how many hits he took, see if he trains again tomorrow and have a meeting with the medics on Thursday and then go from there.

"As it stands, he's way ahead of schedule but it was basically about seeing how he did today and how he reacts to that."

Teimana Harrison and Conor Carey are definitely out due to knee injuries, while Saints have a doubt over tighthead prop Paul Hill after he was forced off with concussion last weekend.

"He's going through that return-to-play process, he hasn't done much with the team as yet so we'll see where he ends up," Dowson said of Hill. "If he can't make it, we'll stick someone else in there."

Alex Coles and Fraser Dingwall came off with knocks last weekend.

But Saints do have plenty of selection options at their disposal this week.

"They're good conversations to have," Dowson said.

"There are some weeks where you're having to play Sam Matavesi in the back row because you're struggling with injuries.

"It's great to have so many players out there fighting for opportunities and positions.

"We've got tough conversations to decide who is going to play."