Myler still missing as Saints travel to Dragons

BACK IN BUSINESS - George North gets his first start of the pre-season campaign (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

BACK IN BUSINESS - George North gets his first start of the pre-season campaign (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

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Saints have named close to their strongest possible side for their final pre-season game at Newport-Gwent Dragons on Friday night - but fly-half Stephen Myler will play no part.

Myler has been nursing a calf injury during pre-season and was due to be on the bench against Leinster last weekend before being forced to pull out.

And he has not been named in the 29-man squad for the trip to Ebbw Vale, which is a concern for Saints with their Premiership campaign starting against Gloucester at Franklin’s Gardens next Friday.

Will Hooley, who has started all three pre-season games, will again deputise for Myler at 10.

Sam Dickinson is missing once again as he is sidelined for three months with a neck injury, while Tom Collins, Mike Haywood (both shoulder) and Joel Hodgson (wrist) are also out.

But boss Jim Mallinder is able to call on the majority of his main men, with the likes of George North, who scored twice in the 33-21 victory against Leinster, and Dylan Hartley making their first starts of the pre-season campaign.

Saints have yet to lose in the build-up to the new season, with wins against Rotherham Titans, Leinster and Moseley helping them maintain the momentum gained from last season’s Amlin Challenge Cup and Aviva Premiership triumphs.

Saints: Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, North; Hooley, L Dickson; Corbisiero, Hartley, Ma’afu; Lawes, Day; Clark, Wood, Manoa.

Replacements: McMillan, A Waller, Denman, Craig, Dolan, Harrison, Fisher, Fotuali’i, Wilson, Waldouck, Elliott, Packman, Skelcey, Olver.