Big boost for Saints as Furbank returns for Tigers clash

George Furbank has not played since Saints beat Harlequins at The Stoop in April
George Furbank has not played since Saints beat Harlequins at The Stoop in April

Saints have been handed a big injury boost with the news that George Furbank is fit to start at full-back against Leicester Tigers on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Furbank has not featured for the black, green and gold since suffering concussion in the win at Harlequins in April.

But he is now back available and will wear the 15 shirt in the Premiership Rugby Cup clash at Welford Road.

Taqele Naiyaravoro returns from his one-week ban to start on the wing, while James Fish, Alex Coles and Heinrich Brüssow also come into the team.

Harry Mallinder (knee), Dylan Hartley (knee), Alex Mitchell (knee), Reece Marshall (hamstring), Mikey Haywood (knee), Jamie Gibson (shoulder) and Paddy Ryan (knee) remain sidelined.

Saints, who have lost all three of their games so far, can't make it out of their Premiership Rugby Cup pool, but Leicester still harbour hopes of a semi-final spot.

Club captain Tom Youngs and prop Facundo Gigena return to the front row for Tigers, with Will Spencer at lock after missing the win at Bath last week.

Hanro Liebenberg is included in the back row for the final outing before the start of the Gallagher Premiership season.

Noel Reid, Kyle Eastmond and Andy Forsyth come into the back-line and Adam Thompstone starts his first home game of 2019.

Samoa international prop Nephi Leatigaga and Fijian on-loan back-rower Ifereimi Boladau could make their Welford Road debuts from the replacements bench.

Leicester Tigers: Worth; Thompstone, Forsyth, Eastmond, Holmes; Reid, White; Gigena, Youngs (c), Heyes; Spencer, Wells; Liebenberg, Reffell, Thompson.

Replacements: Kerr, Leatigaga, Cortes, Green, Boladau, Harrison, Hardwick, Olowofela.

Saints: Furbank; Olowofela, Dingwall, Symons, Naiyaravoro; Grayson, Taylor; van Wyk, Fish, Painter; Ribbans, Coles; Tonks, Brüssow, Harrison (c).

Replacements: van Vuuren, B Franks, Hill, Moon, Eadie, Mitchell, Hutchinson, Collins.