Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks: Full team news for Friday's exhibition match

George Hendy and James Ramm will make their long-awaited return from injury when Saints host Sale Sharks in an exhibition match on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
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Ramm has not played since suffering a knee problem against Harlequins in November, while Hendy has been out since being forced off with his own knee issue against Toulon in December.

But both are now fit and available, with Hendy starting at full-back against Sale and Ramm named on the wing.

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Jake Garside switches from full-back to scrum-half as Callum Braley has been added to the unavailable list while Tom James is given the night off.

James Ramm (photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)James Ramm (photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
James Ramm (photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Tom Cruse comes in to start at hooker as Sam Matavesi is on Navy duty this weekend.

Courtney Lawes is part of a formidable back row, which also includes Juarno Augustus and skipper Lewis Ludlam.

Saints have again named an extended list of replacements, with Saints Under-18s scrum-half Jonny Weimann among them.

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Rory Hutchinson is listed as unavailable along with Braley, Tarek Haffar, Tom Pearson, Beltus Nonleh, Ed Prowse and the suspended Curtis Langdon, who will be able to return from his ban next week.

Matavesi, Toby Cousins, Archie McParland, Henry Pollock, Elliot Millar Mills, Alex Coles, Fraser Dingwall, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Alex Mitchell and Fin Smith are all on international duty.

For Sale, Bevan Rodd, Cobus Wiese, Jean-Luc du Preez, Simon McIntyre and Ernst van Rhyn all make their return from injury on Friday night.

New signing Hyron Andrews will be on the bench, while Tom Curtis celebrates his new three-year contract with a start at fly-half.

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Sale have selected an experienced front row, with England loosehead Rodd starting after recovering from a toe injury. He’ll line up alongside Tommy Taylor and Nick Schonert.

Wiese teams up with Josh Beaumont in the second row, while van Rhyn and Sam Dugdale make up a powerful back row, with the returning du Preez No.8.

Gus Warr starts alongside Curtis in the half-backs, with Rekeiti Ma’asi-White and captain Rob du Preez outside them in the centres.

Saints: 15 George Hendy; 14 James Ramm, 13 Tom Litchfield, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Ollie Sleightholme; 10 Charlie Savala, 9 Jake Garside; 1 Emmanuel Iyogun, 2 Tom Cruse, 3 Trevor Davison; 4 Tom Lockett, 5 Temo Mayanavanua; 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Lewis Ludlam (c), 8 Juarno Augustus.

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Replacements: Robbie Smith, Alex Waller, Ethan Waller, Paul Hill, Chunya Munga, Alex Moon, Angus Scott-Young, Sam Graham, Jonny Weimann (Saints Under-18s), Joel Matavesi, Tom Seabrook, Will Glister, Ewan Baker.

Sale Sharks: 15 Joe Carpenter; 14 Tom O’Flaherty, Rob du Preez ©, Rekeiti Ma’asi-White, Arron Reed; Tom Curtis, Gus Warr; Bevan Rodd, Tommy Taylor, Nick Schonert; Cobus Wiese, Josh Beaumont; Ernst van Rhyn, Jean-Luc du Preez.

Replacements: Agustin Creevy, Ross Harrison, Simon McIntyre, James Harper, Hyron Andrews, Ben Bamber, Cam Neild, Tristan Woodman, Will Riley, Raffi Quirke, Sam Jones, Osain Roberts, Obi Ene, Telusa Veainu, Joe Bedlow.