Hill returns as Haywood makes 200th Saints appearance at Gloucester

Paul Hill makes his long-awaited return to action (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Paul Hill makes his long-awaited return to action (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Paul Hill will make his first appearance of the Chris Boyd era at Saints as the prop starts in the Premiership Rugby Cup match at Gloucester on Friday night.

Hill, who had been forced to undergo surgery to remove a cyst from his shoulder, starts at tighthead in a team that shows 12 changes from last Sunday's 15-14 victory at Wasps.

Mike Haywood returns from concussion to line up at hooker, making his 200th Saints appearance at the age of just 26.

David Ribbans also returns to the starting line-up, having been rested for the past two games, along with the likes of Lewis Ludlam and Teimana Harrison.

Tom Wood will skipper the side from the No.6 shirt, while the likes of Taqele Naiyaravoro and Tom Collins return to take their place in the back line.

The only players remaining in the starting 15 from the win at the Ricoh Arena are James Grayson, Fraser Dingwall and George Furbank.

Rory Hutchinson (knee), Ken Pisi (shoulder), Nafi Tuitavake (neck), Andy Symons (knee), Jamal Ford-Robinson (knee), Tom Emery (ankle), Harry Mallinder (knee), James Haskell (ankle), Matt Worley (concussion), James Craig (concussion) and Ehren Painter (back) are sidelined.

For Gloucester, captain Willi Heinz will make his first appearance of the season after returning from a calf injury.

Only three of the team that started at Bristol last weekend – Ollie Thorley, Henry Trinder and Gareth Evans – are retained.

Jaco Kriel will make his first start for the club and Mark Atkinson will start at fly-half.

Gloucester: Woodward; Banahan, Trinder, Twelvetrees, Thorley; Atkinson, Heinz (c); Hohneck, Hanson, Balmain; Savage, Slater; Evans, Kriel, Clarke.
Replacements: Walker, Rapava Ruskin, Knight, Grobler, Ackermann, Braley, Purdy, Hudson.

Saints: Furbank; Collins, Dingwall, Francis, Naiyaravoro; Grayson, Reinach; Davis, Haywood, Hill; Ribbans, Moon; Wood (c), Ludlam, Harrison.
Replacements: Fish, Waller, Franks, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Mitchell, Kellaway, Burrell.