North and Corbisiero start for Saints at Leinster

FIRST SAINTS START - George North
FIRST SAINTS START - George North

Lions stars George North and Alex Corbisiero will make their first starts for Saints in tonight’s (Fri) final pre-season friendly against Leinster in Dublin (ko 7pm).

There is also a full debut for another new signing in Gareth Denman.

Saints have named a strong side for the trip across the Irish Sea, but among those they have left at home is full-back Ben Foden who picked up a knock in last Friday’s win over Edinburgh, and Tom Wood and Christian Day are on the replacements bench.

Of the 30-man squad that has been named for the game, 29 saw action last week in wins over Moseley or Edinburgh – some both – and the travelling party will be keen to end pre-season on good form as the Aviva Premiership opener with Exeter next weekend looms.

North will wear 11 in a backline where James Wilson comes in at full back for Foden as the only other change.

Courtney Lawes is the only front five forward who started the Gardens win against Edinburgh meanwhile, partnering Samu Manoa in his first appearance of pre-season after his international duty with the USA.

There are two changes in the back row, with Sam Dickinson in at number 8 and double try scorer Phil Dowson skippering Saints from the blindside.

Saints team to play Leinster at Donnybrook, Friday, August 30, 7pm: Wilson; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, North; Myler, L Dickson; Corbisiero, McMillan, Denman, Lawes, Manoa, Clark, Dowson, Dickinson.

Replacements: Haywood, Waller, Mercey, Day, Wood, Nutley, Craig, van Velze, Glynn, Elliott, Artemyev, Stephenson, Collins, Diggin, Olver.