Dowson starts for Saints as Clark misses final

CHANGING PLACES - Phil Dowson takes the place of injury victim Calum Clark in Saturday's Premiership final (picture by Linda Dawson)
CHANGING PLACES - Phil Dowson takes the place of injury victim Calum Clark in Saturday's Premiership final (picture by Linda Dawson)

Phil Dowson will start for Saints in Saturday’s Aviva Premiership final grand final after Calum Clark was ruled out through injury.

Clark picked up an ankle injury in the play-off semi-final clash with Saracens and has not been deemed fit enough to take a place in the matchday squad.

Dowson will wear the No.6 shirt, lining up alongside Tom Wood and No.8 Samu Manoa in the back row in what is an otherwise unchanged side.

Ben Nutley has been handed a place among the replacements, along with fit-again George Pisi, who has recovered from a hamstring injury and is preferred to Tom May.

Meanwhile, Leicester have resisted the temptation to start Adam Thompstone and Ed Slater following their return from injury.

Thompstone is left out of the squad all together, with Vereniki Goneva keeping his place on the wing and Matt Smith, who is able to cover more positions, named on the bench.

But Slater is among the replacements, with Graham Kitchener maintaining a tight grip on the Tigers’ No.4 shirt.

Saints: Foden; K Pisi, Wilson, Burrell, Elliott; Myler, Dickson; Tonga’uiha, Hartley (c), Mujati, Lawes, Day; Dowson, Wood, Manoa.

Replacements: Haywood, A Waller, Mercey, Nutley, van Velze, Roberts, Lamb, G Pisi.

Tigers: Tait; Morris, Tuilagi, Allen, Goneva; Flood, B Youngs; Mulipola, T Youngs, Cole; Kitchener, Parling; Croft, Salvi, Crane.

Replacements: Hawkins, Balmain, Castrogiovanni, Slater, Mafi, Harrison, Ford, Smith.