Pisi starts as Saints reshuffle back line for Gloucester game

Ken Pisi has been handed a rare Saints start as new coaching consultant Alan Gaffney makes one change for his first game in charge.

Friday, 5th January 2018, 12:20 pm
Updated Friday, 5th January 2018, 12:22 pm
Ken Pisi will start for Saints against Gloucester (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Ken Pisi will start for Saints against Gloucester (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Pisi, whose most recent Premiership start was at Worcester in November, comes in on the wing for Saturday's clash with Gloucester at Franklin's Gardens (kick-off 3pm).

The alteration is part of a back-line reshuffle, with Piers Francis ruled out after suffering concussion in last weekend's 50-21 defeat to Harlequins at Twickenham.

Stephen Myler (ribs) is also missing, meaning Harry Mallinder is forced to switch from full-back to fly-half.

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Ahsee Tuala moves from a wide position to the 15 shirt, with Pisi coming in at 11 and Ben Foden moving to the other wing.

The pack remains unchanged, but there is a return from a hand injury for Kieran Brookes as he is named among the replacements.

Young fly-half James Grayson also gets a place on the bench.

Gloucester have made seven changes to their side following the win against Sale Sharks at Kingsholm last weekend.

Willi Heinz returns at scrum-half, skippering the Cherry and Whites at the Gardens.

Former Leicester Tigers ace Owen Williams starts at 10, with Jason Woodward coming in on the wing and Henry Trinder replacing Billy Twelvetrees at centre.

Ed Slater and Mariano Galarza replace Tom Savage and Jeremy Thrush in the second row, while the final change sees Jake Polledri come in for Lewis Ludlow on the openside flank.

Saints: Tuala; Foden, Horne, Burrell, Pisi; Mallinder, Groom; Ma'afu, Hartley (c), Ford-Robinson; Ratuniyarawa, Lawes; Wood, Gibson, Harrison.

Replacements: Haywood, Van Wyk, Brookes, Paterson, Nutley, Reinach, Grayson, Stephenson.

Gloucester: Marshall; Woodward, Trinder, Symons, Halaifonua; Williams, Heinz (c); Hohneck, Hanson, Afoa; Slater, Galarza; Ackermann, Polledri, Morgan.

Replacements: Matu'u, Orr, Balmain, Savage, Ludlow, Vellacott, Twelvetrees, Sharples.