Wood and Marshall return as Wanderers host London Irish

Tom Wood returns to action this evening (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Tom Wood returns to action this evening (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Tom Wood and Reece Marshall will make their return from injury when the Wanderers face London Irish in a Franklin's Gardens friendly this evening (kick-off 7.30pm).

Neither player has been able to play a part in any of the pre-season fixtures or the opening four games of the new Gallagher Premiership season.

Flanker Wood has been battling a persistent groin problem, while hooker Marshall sustained a foot injury towards the end of last season.

But both players are now ready to return to action and they will do so against Irish, who stepped in at late notice to fill the void left by Wasps.

Northampton were left frustrated with the Coventry-based club as they failed to fulfil a second team fixture for the second time in 12 months, citing a lack of front row resources.

But Championship outfit Irish are able to field a team and they will pose a challenge for the Wanderers, who won both of their opening Premiership Rugby Shield matches.

“We were very disappointed that our Shield fixture against Wasps was cancelled this evening, but delighted to have arranged this friendly instead to give our players the opportunity for some game time,” said Saints Academy manager Simon Sinclair.

“We must say thanks again to London Irish for stepping in at the last minute. The Exiles will provide a stern test as they're always a well-organised outfit, but we're really excited about having 13 current Saints Academy players in our squad.

“They'll be jumping at the chance to show a good Franklin's Gardens crowd what they are made of.”

Gates to Franklin’s Gardens open at 6.30pm with kick-off scheduled for 7.30pm.

Car parks A, B and C situated off Ross Road will be open and free of charge.

The game is free to season ticket holders; £5 for adults and £2 for under-16s.

Wanderers: Furbank; Worley, Sleightholme, Strachan, Emery; Grayson, Tupai; Davis, Marshall, van Wyk; Moon, Ratuniyarawa; Wood, Ryan, Eadie.
Replacements: Ma'asi, Ford-Robinson, Garside, Onojaife, Wallace, Creighton (guest player), Dayes, Evans (guest player).