Saints signing Picamoles to make Gardens bow in Rotherham friendly

Tom Wood will captain Saints in their second friendly of the day against Rotherham at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday

Tom Wood will captain Saints in their second friendly of the day against Rotherham at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday

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Louis Picamoles will make his Franklin’s Gardens bow in the pre-season friendly against Rotherham Titans on Saturday (4pm).

The France star moved to Northampton this summer and will line up at No.8 in the second fixture of the Gardens double-header.

Tom Wood will captain that team, which also includes another new boy, Argentina back JP Estelles, who started training at Saints on Monday.

Georgian trialist Nodar Cheishvili, who is a lock, will be on the bench for the game against Rotherham.

And he will also be among the replacements for the earlier game, against Cornish Pirates, which kicks off at 1.30pm.

Another new player, South African scrum-half Nic Groom, will also be on the bench for both matches.

Dylan Hartley will skipper Saints in the game against Pirates, with Alex Waller and Paul Hill also forming part of a fearsome front row.

Saints team to face Cornish Pirates (1.30pm): Tuala; K Pisi, G Pisi, Mallinder, Packman; Myler, Kessell; A Waller, Hartley (c), Hill; Paterson, Onojaife; Gibson, Nutley, Harrison. Replacements: E Waller, Fish, Denman, Peters, Cheishvili, Marshall, Bennett, Groom, Olver, Green, Strachan, Dingwall, Furbank.

Saints team to face Rotherham Titans (4pm): Foden; Estelles, Stephenson, Burrell, Collins; Hanrahan, Dickson; Ma’afu, Clare, Brookes; Moon, Craig; Wood (c), Ludlam, Picamoles. Replacements: Beesley, Fish, Denman, Parkins, Peters, Cheishvili, Marshall, Bennett, Groom, Olver, Green, Strachan, Dingwall, Furbank.