Francis and Reinach fit to start for Saints at Sixways

editorial image

Piers Francis and Cobus Reinach are both fit to start for Saints at Worcester Warriors on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

The pair, who have recovered from shoulder and heel injuries respectively, are part of a starting 15 that also includes all of the autumn international representatives, with Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, Dan Biggar and Ahsee Tuala all lining up at Sixways.

Tom Collins starts after getting 40 minutes for the Wanderers on his return from injury on Monday night.

And Heinrich Brüssow is able to take his place on the bench after also playing the first half in the 50-7 victory against Worcester Cavaliers earlier this week.

Saints are without Andrew Kellaway, who continues to recover from an ankle injury, while the likes of Mike Haywood, James Haskell and Harry Mallinder remain on the sidelines.

Chris Boyd's men go into the crucial Gallagher Premiership game at Worcester on the back of last weekend's cancelled clash with Timisoara Saracens.

But only 11 members of this Friday's Saints 23 were involved in the snow-hit trip to Romania.

Meanwhile, Worcester are captained by former Saints No.8 GJ van Velze, with another ex-Northampton player, Ethan Waller, among the replacements.

Scrum-half Francois Hougaard, openside flanker Sam Lewis and full-back Chris Pennell all return to the Warriors team.

Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Heem, Venter, Mills, Adams; Weir, Hougaard; Black, Singleton, Schonert; Bresler, Fatialofa; Mama, Lewis, van Velze (c).
Replacements: Taufete'e, Waller, Milasinovich, Phillips, Hill, Arr, Lawrence, van Breda.

Saints: Tuala; Collins, Burrell, Francis, Naiyaravoro; Biggar, Reinach; Waller (cc), Hartley (cc), Hill; Ribbans, Lawes; Wood, Ludlam, Harrison.
Replacements: Fish, van Wyk, Franks, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Brüssow, Mitchell, Dingwall.