Dawidiuk set for first Saints appearance as his former club comes calling

Darren Dawidiuk is on the Saints bench against Gloucester
Darren Dawidiuk is on the Saints bench against Gloucester

Darren Dawidiuk is set to make his first Saints appearance after being named on the bench for Sunday's Gallagher Premiership game against Gloucester (kick-off 3pm).

Dawidiuk, a former Cherry and Whites hooker, joined Saints on a deal until the end of the season back in January.

And the 31-year-old, who scored in the Wanderers' defeat at Worcester on Monday night, is now primed to get some first-team game time.

He will provide back-up for Reece Marshall, with James Fish ruled out due to the concussion he suffered in the first half of the 61-38 defeat to Clermont Auvergne last Sunday.

Saints make four changes from that European Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat, with Francois van Wyk, Heinrich Brüssow and Ahsee Tuala also coming in.

Van Wyk replaces Alex Waller at loosehead, Brüssow comes in for Api Ratuniyarawa, with Courtney Lawes moving from the back row to the second row.

And Tuala is in on the wing, in place of Tom Collins, who is not in the matchday squad.

Teimana Harrison will be the Saints skipper on the day.

Andy Symons (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), Mikey Haywood (knee), Dylan Hartley (knee), Ehren Painter (calf), Paddy Ryan (knee), James Haskell (toe), Fraser Dingwall (ankle), David Ribbans (ankle) and Fish (concussion) are all sidelined.

Third-placed Gloucester, who are nine points ahead of Saints in the league standings, have injury problems of their own, with their first-choice back three all ruled out.

Jason Woodward, Tom Marshall and Ollie Thorley are out, meaning Tom Hudson, Charlie Sharples and Matt Banahan come in.

Saints: Furbank; Tuala, Hutchinson, Francis, Naiyaravoro; Biggar, Reinach; van Wyk, Marshall, Hill; Moon, Lawes; Ludlam, Brüssow, Harrison (c).

Replacements: Dawidiuk, Waller, Franks, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Mitchell, Burrell, Pisi.

Gloucester: Hudson; Banahan, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Sharples; Cipriani, Heinz (c); Hohneck, Marais, Balmain; Slater, Mostert; Ackermann, Kriel, Morgan.

Replacements: Sherry, Rapava Ruskin, Dreyer, Savage, Clarke, Polledri, Braley, Seabrook.