Saints boss Mallinder expects Wood and Hartley to return for Sale clash

EXPECTING REINFORCEMENTS - Jim Mallinder believes Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley will be back for Saints next weekend
EXPECTING REINFORCEMENTS - Jim Mallinder believes Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley will be back for Saints next weekend
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Jim Mallinder is expecting England duo Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley to return to action against Sale Sharks next weekend.

And the Saints boss is also confident Lee Dickson will be fine after being forced off after just 15 minutes of the win at London Irish on Saturday.

Wood was ruled out of the 19-12 win at the Madejski Stadium with a back injury that has also kept him out of the two games previous to that.

Hartley picked up a back problem in training during the week and also missed out, meaning Dickson took over the captaincy at Irish.

But the scrum-half suffered a shoulder injury early on and came off to be replaced by Kahn Fotuali’i.

However, Mallinder, who has lost Alex Corbisiero to injury until early in the new year, is confident the influential trio will not prove a cause for concern.

“Tom was close to playing against Irish,” said the director of rugby. “He re-did the injury so we’ve been cautious in building him back up.

“He’s increased his load at the end of this week, so we hope he’ll be fit to play against Sale next weekend.

“Dylan also has a sore back, which he did in training in midweek. We expect him back next weekend.

“Lee is just a bit sore and hopefully he’ll be okay. He’s quite confident he’ll be okay.”