North makes long-awaited return for Saints against Saracens

HE'S BACK - George North hasn't played for Saints since scoring this try against Wasps back on March 27 (Picture: Dave Ikin)

HE'S BACK - George North hasn't played for Saints since scoring this try against Wasps back on March 27 (Picture: Dave Ikin)

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George North will make his first Saints appearance since March after being named in the team to face Saracens on Saturday.

The Wales wing, who was ruled out of the closing stages of last season after being knocked unconscious in a game against Wasps, recently returned from helping his country make the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

He had been nursing a hamstring injury, but has been back in training during the past week and has been deemed fit enough to start at Franklin’s Gardens.

Saints also recall Dylan Hartley and Christian Day, while James Craig is the fourth change from last Sunday’s defeat at Sale as he replaces the injured Courtney Lawes in the second row.

Calum Clark and Alex Corbisiero are still not available to make their first starts of the season, while Lawes is out for ‘a week or two’ with a knee problem, according to director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

Jon Fisher misses out through illness, while Victor Matfield has returned to South Africa to collect his visa after representing his country in the World Cup.

Utility back James Wilson is out until late December with an arm injury.

Meanwhile, Saracens, who have won all three of their Aviva Premiership games so far, are able to call on a number of England players for the trip to Northampton.

Seven of their starting 15 were named in Stuart Lancaster’s final World Cup squad, while Jamie George, who was also involved, is on the bench.

Saints: Foden; Elliott, G Pisi, Burrell, North; Myler, Fotuali’i; A Waller, Hartley, Brookes; Craig, Day; Gibson, Wood (c), Dickinson.

Replacements: Haywood, E Waller, Hill, Paterson, Harrison, Dickson, Hanrahan, Tuala.

Saracens: Goode; Ashton; Taylor; Barritt; Wyles; Farrell, Wigglesworth; M Vunipola, Brits, Du Plessis; Kruis, Hargreaves (c); Itoje, Burger, B Vunipola.

Replacements: George, Barrington, Figallo, Rhodes, Brown, Spencer, Hodgson, Bosch.