Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks: Full team news for Saturday's game at the Gardens

Fin SmithFin Smith
Fin Smith
Saints welcome back three England internationals for Saturday's Gallagher Premiership game against Sale Sharks at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens (kick-off 3pm).

David Ribbans, Fin Smith and Tommy Freeman were all released by the Red Rose earlier this week and will start for Phil Dowson's side.

Smith will be partnered at half-back by Tom James, who shone from the start in the superb 19-18 win at Leicester Tigers last month.

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Alex Mitchell is with England, along with Lewis Ludlam and Courtney Lawes, who is now back in full training following a calf injury.

George Furbank reverts to full-back and will skipper Saints, while Fraser Dingwall returns to the side having served his suspension for the red card against La Rochelle last month.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto remains out as he has one more week of his ban remaining.

Robbie Smith starts at hooker with Mike Haywood (concussion) and Sam Matavesi (hamstring) still sidelined.

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Tom Cruse is on the bench and set to make his first Premiership appearance for Saints.

Alex Waller will start at loosehead as he plays a Premiership game for the 250th time.

Among the replacements, Tom Collins is set for his first league appearance since early January.

Ollie Sleightholme suffered concussion in the 30-18 Premiership Rugby Cup defeat at London Irish last Friday so he is on the 'not considered for selection list'.

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As for Sale, they welcome back England stars Bevan Rodd, Jonny Hill, Tom Curry and Manu Tuilagi, while the likes of Raffi Quirke and George Ford are among the replacements.

Saints: Furbank (c); Freeman, Proctor, Dingwall, Ramm; F Smith, James; A Waller, R Smith, Hill; Ribbans, Moon; Scott-Young, Hinkley, Augustus.

Replacements: Cruse, E Waller, Petch, Coles, Graham, Braley, Hutchinson, Collins.

Sale Sharks: Carpenter; O’Flaherty, S James, Tuilagi, Reed; R Du Preez, Warr; Rodd, Ashman, Schonert; Wiese, Hill; Ross (c), T Curry, JL Du Preez.Replacements: Caine, McIntyre, Oosthuizen, Beaumont, Dugdale, Quirke, Ford, Roebuck.