Saints boss Boyd gives full injury and availability update ahead of big Lyon clash

Saints have been dealt a blow with the news Henry Taylor will miss the next six weeks with a broken thumb.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 1:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 1:42 pm
Henry Taylor has been ruled out for six weeks with a broken thumb
Henry Taylor has been ruled out for six weeks with a broken thumb

Taylor was forced off in the 55th minute of last Saturday's 22-13 Gallagher Premiership defeat at Bath.

James Mitchell, who was making his first Premiership appearance for Saints, came on to replace the former Saracens scrum-half for the final 25 minutes.

And it now looks like Mitchell will be needed again over the next few weeks as he helps to cover for Taylor.

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The good news for Saints is that World Cup winner Cobus Reinach is now back in training and available to face Lyon in the Champions Cup opener at Franklin's Gardens on Sunday.

But there is no doubt that the loss of Taylor is frustrating for the club as he has made such a positive impression since joining the black, green and gold during the summer.

"Henry Taylor broke his thumb and he's probably six weeks out," Boyd said.

"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster (at scrum-half).

"Alex Mitchell (who is out with a knee injury) had a good report yesterday so he's on track but he's not going to be back until January at the earliest.

"Obviously Cobus is back so that helps.

"But in our specialist areas - hooker, loosehead and half-back - that's where we seem to have accumulated a few dings, but we're not in too bad shape."

Former Sale Sharks and Connacht No.9 James Mitchell joined the club on a short-term deal during the summer and has since made three appearances as a replacement this season.

And Boyd said: "He's a good wee player and he's got a role to play for us.

"With Henry dinged, Connor Tupai and James Mitchell will have to share that load with Cobus until one of those other two guys get back."

There is some good news at loosehead for Saints with Alex Waller and Francois van Wyk both fit to return this weekend.

"Franner's available for selection," Boyd said.

"He's come back from a small bicep tear that was a little bit problematic for him, but he's ready and available for selection.

"Alex Waller's fine. He just had a little issue that meant he couldn't quite get through last week and he had to pull out at the last minute, but he's fine."

As for Saints' two new All Blacks aces, prop Owen Franks and centre Matt Proctor, they are also available for selection this weekend.

"They're both ready to play," Boyd said.

"They've both enjoyed coming here, apart from the cold obviously. It was 27 degrees for them at home the other day!

"The temperature is a bit different but they've really enjoyed the people and the town so they're ready to make a contribution."

Saints have welcomed back their World Cup stars this week, with the likes of Reinach and Courtney Lawes resuming training at the Gardens.

Dan Biggar, Lewis Ludlam and Piers Francis are also back.

And Boyd said: "Pretty much everyone's available so we've got choices to make.

"Some guys have played quite a bit and some guys haven't played as much so there's a bit of rust to shake off of some guys.

"But everyone came in this week really energised, they all want to play.

"I offered them all another week off but they all turned it down so they are ready.

"I know some guys coming back from international duty aren't very stimulated by the club stuff, but I'm sure all our guys are fully engaged so they're looking forward to it.

"We've got some complex selections."