Hartley ready to return after being named on Saints bench for Glasgow game

Dylan Hartley returns to action for Saints against Glasgow (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Dylan Hartley returns to action for Saints against Glasgow (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Dylan Hartley is set to make his first appearance of pre-season when Saints welcome Glasgow Warriors to Franklin's Gardens on Friday night (kick-off 7.30pm).

The co-captain has not featured for his club since January after sustaining concussion in England's Six Nations game against Ireland in March.

But he will be among the replacements for Saints this week, having stressed at the club's pre-season media day that he is ready and raring to go ahead of the start of the new season.

Samoa full-back Ahsee Tuala is straight into the action having also missed Saints' first two pre-season games, the wins against Ospreys and Dragons.

The team selection against Glasgow gives a glimpse of Chris Boyd's favoured 15 ahead of the Gallagher Premiership opener at Gloucester on September 1.

Cobus Reinach and Dan Biggar form the half-back partnership with Tom Collins and Ken Pisi on the wings.

Andrew Kellaway and Taqele Naiyaravoro, who is set to arrive at Saints at the end of this week or the start of next, will be expecting to challenge for starts out wide as the season goes on but neither have been able to play during pre-season due to their commitments at Super Rugby semi-finalists the Waratahs.

Alex Waller skippers Saints against Glasgow, while Ben Franks and James Haskell, like Biggar, gets first run-outs as Northampton players at the Gardens as they are named in the first 15.

Harry Mallinder is said to be 'itching to play' but this week appears to have come too soon for the utility back, while Tom Wood, Paul Hill, Jamal Ford-Robinson and new signing Charlie Davies are among the other players who have been unable to feature during the pre-season fixtures.

Saints: Tuala; Pisi, Hutchinson, Francis, Collins; Biggar, Reinach; Waller (c), Fish, Franks; Ribbans, Lawes; Haskell, Brüssow, Harrison.
Replacements: Haywood, Hartley, Davis, van Wyk, Painter, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Ludlam, Eadie, Mitchell, Grayson, Tuitavake, Sleightholme.