Saints make two changes for Connacht clash

Saints have made two changes for Saturday's Champions Cup play-off against Connacht at Franklin's Gardens (kick-off 4pm).

Friday, 19th May 2017, 1:43 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:40 pm
Teimana Harrison replaces Tom Wood in Saints' starting 15 (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Christian Day and Teimana Harrison come in for David Ribbans and Tom Wood in the only alterations to the team that beat Harlequins 22-20 at the Gardens on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.

Wood had already been playing through the pain before picking up a couple of knocks in the Quins game, but he has battled to be fit and will be on the bench against Connacht.

In Wood's absence, Dylan Hartley will skipper Saints.

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English-qualified lock Ribbans, who has been in fine form of late, will not be able to play a part in the play-offs as Saints have not been able to register him for European rugby as he only joined the club in January.

Saints will also be without Stephen Myler (knee), JJ Hanrahan (shoulder), Jamie Elliott (shoulder), Paul Hill (neck) and Calum Clark (calf) for the game against Connacht.

The absence of both Myler and Hanrahan means Harry Mallinder again starts at fly-half as expected.

Connacht are without Bundee Aki, with the talismanic centre absent due to a three-match suspension handed to him for misconduct during a game against Leinster on April 15.

Saints: Tuala; Foden, Tuitavake, Burrell, North; Mallinder, Groom; A Waller, Hartley (c), Brookes; Lawes, Day; Gibson, Harrison, Picamoles.

Replacements: Ma'afu, Haywood, Denman, Ratuniyarawa, Wood, Dickson, Olver, Hutchinson.