Saints facing hooker shortage for Harlequins clash

INJURY BLOW - Matt Williams suffered a broken leg in Saints' win against London Irish (Picture: Linda Dawson)
INJURY BLOW - Matt Williams suffered a broken leg in Saints' win against London Irish (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Saints are facing a shortage of hooker options for Friday night’s Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Harlequins at Franklin’s Gardens.

Ross McMillan is the only registered hooker in the first-team squad, with Dylan Hartley, Mike Haywood and Matt Williams all injured.

Hartley and Haywood have shoulder injuries and are not expected back for at least a couple of weeks, while Williams broke his leg in Sunday’s win against London Irish.

That means Alex Waller, who has experience at hooker, could be asked to fill in should McMillan not make it through the full 80 minutes.

But there is also a lack of cover for Waller at loosehead with his brother, Ethan, having also been forced off with an injury against Irish.

“It does leave us a bit short,” said Saints boss Jim Mallinder. “Hopefully we’ll get Dylan back soon, and Mikey Haywood.

“It will be another few weeks fo Dylan. He won’t be back this week, but he’s making good progress and he might be fit for that (the Bath game on May 2).”