Seven changes for Saints as they square up to Bath

Alex Mitchell starts at scrum-half
Alex Mitchell starts at scrum-half

Saints have rotated their squad for Saturday's Gallagher Premiership game against Bath at Franklin's Gardens.

There are seven changes to the team that smashed Sale Sharks 67-17 at the Gardens last Saturday.

Alex Waller, Reece Marshall, Paul Hill, David Ribbans, James Haskell, Alex Mitchell and James Grayson come into the team.

Francois van Wyk, James Fish, Paul Hill, Alex Moon, Jamie Gibson and Cobus Reinach, who are all among the replacements, make way, along with Dan Biggar, who is on the Wales bench for their Six Nations clash with England.

Teimana Harrison (hamstring) remains on the sidelines, while Ehren Painter (illness) joins him on the list of absentees.

“We want to give all of our guys opportunities and you’ve got to be able to put your faith in your entire squad, so we’ve picked the team that we think is the right team to play against Bath,” said Saints boss Chris Boyd.

“One swallow doesn’t make a summer and we’re not quite seeing the consistency in our performances yet – things went our way last week and we capitalised pretty well, but you have to do it three or four times before you can say that the penny’s dropped.

“We have a template that everyone is starting to feel confident and relaxed within, so as long as we stick to the processes we want we can take advantage of our opportunities this weekend.”

Meanwhile, Dave Attwood and Jonathan Joseph are set to mark milestone appearances for the Bath in tomorrow's clash.

Attwood will make his 150th appearance for the club, while Joseph will bring up a century of appearances in the blue, black and white.

But Bath have been hit by two big blows on the wing as Semesa Rokoduguni is out due to injury and Joe Cokanasiga is in the England squad for their clash with Wales.

Saints: Furbank; Tuala, Hutchinson, Francis, Naiyaravoro; Grayson, Mitchell; Waller (c), Marshall, Hill; Ribbans, Ratuniyarawa; Haskell, Ludlam, Wood.
Replacements: Fish, van Wyk, Franks, Moon, Gibson, Reinach, Burrell, Pisi.

Bath: Atkins; McConnochie, Joseph, Willison, Vuna; Priestland, Chudley (cc); Catt, Dunn, Thomas; Attwood; Charteris (cc); Stooke, Louw, Mercer.
Replacements: Walker, van Rooyen, Lahiff, Ewels, Grant, Green, Burns, Clark.