Saints and Bath set to be boosted by some World Cup players for Gardens showdown

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Both Saints and Bath could be boosted by the return of some World Cup stars on Saturday.

Lewis Ludlam and Sam Matavesi have been back in training at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens, while Will Stuart and Sam Underhill have returned to Bath.

But some England men look set to remain out of the picture for this weekend's game, with Saints set to give Courtney Lawes and Alex Mitchell more time to rest and Bath opting to hand more of a breather to centre Ollie Lawrence.

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Each club will treat its World Cup players on a case-by-case basis.

And Saints boss Phil Dowson said: "We're going to try to incorporate players over the next couple of weeks as they come back into the environment.

"It's been a first chance for players to come back in this week and we want to make sure they are physically and mentally in the right space.

"We'll make a plan in terms of who plays, for how long and whether they do play this week or next."

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Saints had a huge injury list to contend with once again last Sunday as 11 players were sidelined.

Lewis Ludlam (photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)Lewis Ludlam (photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Lewis Ludlam (photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

That list included key wingers Tommy Freeman and James Ramm, who both picked up ankle problems in the encounter prior to last Sunday's 16-14 win at Newcastle Falcons.

"Both are improving," said Dowson at Tuesday's media session.

"Whether or not they will be fit (for this weekend) is still quite a big question mark.

"I'm not sure Rambo will be fit.

"Freemo's making better noises but it's another short turnaround and that makes it difficult."