Dickson named skipper as Saints make three changes for Bath trip

IN CHARGE - Lee Dickson captains Saints at Bath
IN CHARGE - Lee Dickson captains Saints at Bath

Lee Dickson will skipper Saints in their top-of-the-table tussle at Bath on Saturday.

The scrum-half returns to the starting 15 in place of Kahn Fotuali’i, who is on the bench.

And with Dylan Hartley away with England, Tom Wood still sidelined by an ankle injury and Phil Dowson among the replacements, Dickson will lead Saints out at The Rec.

His return is one of three changes to the team which edged to a 15-9 Aviva Premiership victory against London Irish at Franklin’s Gardens last Friday.

Gareth Denman starts at tighthead in place of Salesi Ma’afu, who is serving the first of a two-week ban for striking London Irish prop Tom Court.

And lock James Craig also starts, replacing Dowson, with Samu Manoa moving from the second row to play at six.

Meanwhile, Bath are bolstered by the return of Wales prop Paul James from international duty and he will form part of a front row that also includes Rob Webber and Henry Thomas.

Sam Burgess lines up alongside Kyle Eastmond at centre, with Semesa Rokoduguni and Olly Woodburn on the wings.

The home side are without Dave Attwood, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph and Anthony Watson, who remain in the England camp with Saints duo Dylan Hartley and Luther Burrell.

Bath: Homer; Rokoduguni, Burgess, Eastmond, Woodburn; Devoto, Young; James, Webber, Thomas; Hooper (c), Day; Garvey, Louw, Fearns.

Replacements: Batty, Auterac, Palma-Newport, Faosiliva, Houston, Stringer, Jennings, Arscott.

Saints: Wilson; K Pisi, G Pisi, Stephenson, Elliott; Myler, Dickson (c); A Waller, Haywood, Denman; Craig, Day; Manoa, Clark, Dickinson.

Replacements: Williams, Corbisiero, Mercey, Harrison, Dowson, Fotuali’i, Olver, Tuala.