Saints make three changes for Montpellier clash

Ben Foden is back in the Saints team to face Montpellier (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Ben Foden is back in the Saints team to face Montpellier (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Louis Picamoles will return to the starting line-up as Saints square up to Montpellier on Saturday evening (kick-off 5.30pm).

Picamoles was given a breather last weekend, only coming off the bench during the second half in the 20-9 defeat at Harlequins.

But he is back at No.8 for the meeting with his former club at Franklin’s Gardens.

Harry Mallinder and Ben Foden also return to the starting 15, replacing Luther Burrell and Ahsee Tuala, who are not in the 23.

James Wilson, who made his return from an ankle injury in a recent Wanderers match, is in the matchday squad for the first time this season as he takes his place on the bench.

Rory Hutchinson is also among the replacements, having scored on his Premiership debut in a recent victory against Exeter Chiefs.

Dylan Hartley remains sidelined with a back injury, with Christian Day (bicep) and JJ Hanrahan (ankle) also on the list of absentees.

Meanwhile, Montpellier name former Harlequins fly-half Ben Botica and powerful Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo in their team.

The French club have started their domestic season well, winning five of their eight matches in the Top 14, in which they sit second.

Saints: Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Mallinder, North; Myler, Groom; A Waller, Haywood, Brookes; Lawes, Paterson; Wood (c), Clark, Picamoles.

Replacements: Clare, E Waller, Hill, Dickinson, Harrison, Dickson, Hutchinson, Wilson.

Montpellier: Fall (c); O’Connor, Dumoulin, Steyn, Nadolo; Botica, White; Nariashvili, Mamukashvili, Kubriashvili; Mikautadze, Willemse; Jacques du Plessis, Battut, Spies.

Replacements: Ruffenach, Watremez, Jannie du Plessis, Ouedraogo, Qera, Wright, Martin, Michel.