Fotuali’i on the bench as Saints make four changes in the pack for Sale showdown

FIT AGAIN - Kahn Fotuali'i played for the Wanderers last week, and now returns to the first team squad (Picture: Dave Ikin)
FIT AGAIN - Kahn Fotuali'i played for the Wanderers last week, and now returns to the first team squad (Picture: Dave Ikin)

Kahn Fotuali’i is in Saints’ matchday squad for the first time since New Year’s Day as they take on Sale Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.

The Samoan scrum-half pulled his hamstring in the win over Exeter Chiefs on the first day of 2016, but recently played 40 minutes for the Wanderers against Sale Jets.

And he is now deemed fit enough to start on the bench for the Aviva Premiership clash with the same club.

Paul Hill starts for the first time since the January 23 win at Scarlets, with the prop replacing Kieran Brookes, who is on the bench for England against Wales on Saturday.

Christian Day returns in the second row after missing the past two games, while James Craig also comes in.

Victor Matfield drops to the bench, while Courtney Lawes is not in the 23 as he continues to recover from the ankle injury sustained in last Saturday’s win at Saracens.

Ethan Waller replaces Alex Waller at loosehead, with Saints opting to give the senior sibling a breather among the replacements.

Meanwhile, Sale have recalled Danny Cipriani, who starts at fly-half.

Former Saints favourite Brian Mujati is on the Sharks bench.

Saints: Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, Collins; Myler, Dickson (c); E Waller, Haywood, Hill; Craig, Day; Gibson, Wood, Harrison.

Replacements: Marshall, A Waller, Denman, Matfield, Fisher, Fotuali’i, Hanrahan, Mallinder.

Sale Sharks: Haley; Arscott, James, Tuitupou, Addison; Cipriani, Stringer; Harrison, Taylor, Cobilas; Evans, Ostrikov; Neild, Seymour, TJ Ioane.

Replacements: Briggs, Lewis Roberts, Mujati, Mills, Lund, Cusiter, Ford, Jennings.