Injury-hit Saints make three changes for crucial Harlequins clash

Jamie Gibson starts for Saints at Harlequins on Saturday
Jamie Gibson starts for Saints at Harlequins on Saturday

Tom Wood, Jamie Gibson and Api Ratuniyarawa return to the Saints starting line-up for Saturday's crucial Gallagher Premiership game at Harlequins (kick-off 3pm).

Wood, Gibson and Ratuniyarawa come in for Heinrich Brüssow (concussion), Lewis Ludlam (shoulder) and Alex Moon (ankle) respectively as Saints contend with a lengthy injury list that is made up of 17 names.

Andy Symons (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), Mike Haywood (knee), Dylan Hartley (knee), Ehren Painter (calf), Paddy Ryan (knee), James Haskell (toe), Fraser Dingwall (ankle), David Ribbans (ankle), James Fish (concussion), James Craig (hamstring), Nafi Tuitavake (elbow), Ollie Sleightholme (ankle) and Luther Burrell (concussion) are also sidelined.

England Under-20s hooker Samson Ma'asi is set to make his full Saints debut from the bench at the Stoop.

Mitch Eadie, James Grayson and Andrew Kellaway, who all featured in the Wanderers' 40-36 win against Newcastle on Monday, are also among the replacements.

Meanwhile, scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne makes his first Harlequins start ahead of Danny Care who is ruled out through injury.

Scotland international Hidalgo-Clyne made his debut for the side in the defeat to Sale Sharks last week, having joined Quins in March on a short-term loan deal from Scarlets.

There is one other change in the starting backline that travelled to the AJ Bell Stadium last week, with Marcus Smith replacing Demetri Catrakilis at fly-half.

In the pack, front row Nick Auterac starts at loosehead with Lewis Boyce named on the bench.

Fourth-placed Harlequins currently sit seven points ahead of seventh-placed Saints in the Premiership standings with four games to go.

Harlequins: Brown; Earle, Alofa Alofa, Tapuai, Murley; Smith, Hidalgo-Clyne; Auterac, Crumpton, Sinckler; Symons, Horwill (cc); Clifford, Robshaw (cc), Dombrandt.
Replacements: Ward, Boyce, Swainston, Glynn, Kunatani, Saunders, Lang, Saili.

Saints: Furbank; Tuala, Hutchinson, Francis, Naiyaravoro; Biggar, Reinach; van Wyk, Marshall, Hill; Ratuniyarawa, Lawes; Gibson, Wood, Harrison.
Replacements: Ma'asi, Waller, Franks, Coles, Eadie, Mitchell, Grayson, Kellaway.