Injury-hit Saints name youthful side for season opener at Saracens

JJ Tonks starts at seven for Saints
JJ Tonks starts at seven for Saints

Saints will be without Teimana Harrison and Heinrich Brüssow for Saturday's Gallagher Premiership season opener at Saracens.

Harrison is ruled out with a chest injury, while Brüssow has a hamstring problem.

It means Alex Coles and JJ Tonks will join Tom Wood in the back row at Allianz Park.

Saints have named a total of nine Academy graduates in a starting 15 that has an average age of just 23 years old.

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

Saracens include two former Saints players in their starting 15, with Calum Clark and former Academy wing Rotimi Segun starting.

Alex Goode skippers the Premiership and European champions from fly-half, while the likes of Alex Lewington, Alex Lozowski and Nick Tompkins, who scored a hat-trick in a Premiership Rugby Cup win at Saints 12 days ago, also start.

Saracens: Gallagher; Segun, Lozowski, Tompkins, Lewington; Goode (c), Spencer; Adams-Hale; Pifeleti, Lamositele; Skelton, Isiekwe; Clark, Earl, Wray.
Replacements: Gray, Barrington, Wainwright, Kpoku, Hunter-Hill, Whiteley, Manu Vunipola, Obatoyinbo.

Saints: Furbank; Collins, Dingwall, Hutchinson, Naiyaravoro; Grayson, Taylor; Waller (c), Fish, Hill; Ribbans, Moon; Coles, Tonks, Wood.
Replacements: van Vuuren, van Wyk, Painter, Bean, Eadie, Tupai, Symons, Sleightholme.