Saints squad stretched for trip to Bath

Tom Wood misses Saints' trip to Bath (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Tom Wood misses Saints' trip to Bath (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Saints will be without six first-team forwards for their Aviva Premiership game at Bath on Saturday afternoon.

Tom Wood and Matti Williams will both miss the trip to The Recreation Ground, while Alex Corbisiero, Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Calum Clark remain sidelined.

That means Saints have been forced to include hooker Reece Marshall in their squad, with the 21-year-old set to make his Premiership debut from the bench.

Teimana Harrison takes Wood’s place at No.7, while Ethan Waller comes in for Alex Waller, who is among the replacements.

In the back line, JJ Hanrahan starts in place of Stephen Myler at 10, while Jamie Elliott steps in for Ahsee Tuala on the wing.

With club captain Lee Dickson on the bench. in-form full-back Ben Foden will skipper the side.

Saints will now be hoping a number of their senior players can recover in time for the Champions Cup double-header with Racing 92, but there are no guarantees on that score.

Corbisiero has been battling niggly injuries since the start of the season, while Hartley is continuing to recover from concussion sustained in the November 7 defeat to Saracens.

Lawes has a knee problem, while Clark is out until the new year with a shoulder injury.

James Wilson is also sidelined until the end of the 2015 with an arm injury, meaning Jim Mallinder’s squad is being tested to the maximum.

In contrast, Bath have received some positive injury news, with England centre Jonathan Joseph returning from a pectoral problem to line up against Saints.

Dave Attwood also makes his comeback, taking his place in the second row, while Chris Cook takes over from Fiji star Niko Matawalu at scrum-half.

Saints have not been beaten by Bath in the league since February 2011, remaining unbeaten in their past eight Premiership matches against the west country outfit.

Bath: Watson; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Devoto, Banahan; Ford, Cook; Auterac, Webber, Thomas; Attwood, Ellis; Garvey, Louw (c), Houston.

Replacements: Batty, Lahiff, Wilson, Denton, Mercer, Matawalu, Priestland, Homer.

Saints: Foden (c); Elliott, G Pisi, Burrell, North; Hanrahan, Fotuali’i; E Waller, Haywood, Brookes; Paterson, Day; Gibson, Harrison, Dickinson.

Replacements: Marshall, A Waller, Hill, Matfield, Craig, Dickson, Myler, K Pisi.