Haskell ready to start as Saints clash with Harlequins

James Haskell will start for Saints against Harlequins (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
James Haskell will start for Saints against Harlequins (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

James Haskell has overcome the back spasm that kept him out of last Saturday's game against Gloucester and the flanker will start against Harlequins on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

Haskell was replaced in the team by Lewis Ludlam at late notice last weekend, with Jamie Gibson taking Ludlam's place on the bench.

But Haskell is ready to make his competitive Saints debut against Quins, with Ludlam dropping out of the matchday squad and Gibson remaining among the replacements.

Ken Pisi comes in for Nafi Tuitavake on the wing, with Tuitavake not in the 23 this week.

David Ribbans is fit enough to start in the second row after being forced off inside 21 minutes at Kingsholm.

But there are changes on the bench, with Andy Symons, who signed from Gloucester during the summer, set to make his first Saints appearance having impressed on Monday night.

Harry Mallinder also starred in that Wanderers win against Leicester Tigers at Loughborough University and he is also handed a place among the replacements.

Harlequins smashed Sale Sharks 51-23 at The Stoop last Saturday, but they have made four changes to their starting 15.

Up front, there are first starts of the season for Ben Glynn, Archie White and James Chisholm, while Charlie Walker will play on the right wing.

Saints: Tuala; Pisi, Burrell, Francis, Collins; Biggar, Reinach; Waller (c), Fish, Franks; Ribbans, Lawes; Haskell, Brüssow, Harrison.
Replacements: Hartley, van Wyk, Painter, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Mitchell, Symons, Mallinder.

Harlequins: Morris; Walker, Marchant, Tapuai, Earle; Smith, Care; Marler, Elia, Collier; Symons, Glynn; White, Robshaw (c), Chisholm.
Replacements: Crumpton, Lambert, Swainston, South, Bothma, Mulchrone, Lang, Lasike.