Hartley only fit for Premiership final bench
May 30, 2014
Dylan Hartley has been out of action with a shoulder injury since March © Getty Images
Northampton Saints welcome back captain Dylan Hartley for Saturday's Aviva Premiership final against Saracens, but the hooker is only fit enough to take his place on the bench.
Hartley, who has not played since sustaining a shoulder injury in March, will be anxious to play a part in the final at Twickenham, having been shown a red card in last year's showpiece against old rivals Leicester.
Tom Wood is named captain in the Northampton starting XV, which sees Kahn Fotuali'i replace Lee Dickson at scrum-half in the team that defeated Bath to lift the Amlin Challenge Cup last Friday. Salesi Ma'afu is the other change, returning to the front row in place of Tom Mercey.
Saracens are boosted by the news that captain Steve Borthwick is fit to lead them in his final match before retirement. The veteran lock will sign off from a 16-year career after Saturday's final.
Saracens are without their England prop Mako Vunipola, who has been ruled out with injury. He is replaced by Richard Barrington in the team that was resoundingly beaten by Toulon in last Saturday's Heineken Cup final. Richard Wigglesworth also drops out of the XV, with Neil de Kock securing a starting role.
Owen Farrell has recovered from a slight ankle sprain to take the No.10 jersey, news which will come as a boost to England head coach Stuart Lancaster. He will welcome Farrell into the squad for the tour to New Zealand after the final, most likely in time for the second Test in Dunedin.
15 Alex Goode; 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle; 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock; 1 Richard Barrington, 2 Schalk Brits, 3 Matt Stevens, 4 Steve Borthwick, 5 Mouritz Botha, 6 Kelly Brown, 7 Jacques Burger, 8 Billy Vunipola
Replacements; 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 James Johnston, 19 Alistair Hargreaves, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Chris Wyles
15 Ben Foden; 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North; 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i; 1 Alex Corbisiero, 2 Mike Haywood, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 4 Samu Manoa, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Calum Clark, 7 Tom Wood, 8 Sam Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Christian Day, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 James Wilson, 23 Tom Stephenson
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
SANZAR has lodged an appeal against the outcome of its own judicial hearing of a dangerous tackle charge against Sharks centre Francois Steyn
Michael van Gerwen once again missed double 12 for a perfect nine-dart leg but powered on to maintain his spot at the top of the Premier League table
Juan Martin del Potro's latest comeback from an injury is off to a slow start
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has denied reports of a disagreement with manager Arsene Wenger and that an impasse has been reached over a new contract
Graeme McDowell has been forced to withdraw from the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio with an ankle injury
Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks
Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports
Will Mercedes dominate again? Can anybody catch up with the help of a rainstorm? And will the Red Bull/Renault relationship tear itself apart? All those questions and more will be answered at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix
Maurice Hamilton pieces together what we know from the Fernando Alonso crash and explains why the latest answers raise more questions
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Ander Herrera has hinted why he was dropped from the Manchester United line-up for so long this season, admitting that he was criticised by manager Louis van Gaal for defying tactical instructions
Tiger Woods is confident of recovering from a poor run of form to qualify for the US Ryder Cup team in 2016, according to captain Davis Love III
Radamel Falcao insists he has not lost his desire to succeed at Manchester United despite being increasingly sidelined by boss Louis van Gaal
Lionel Messi earned more than €1 million (£740,000) a week last year to make him the world's highest-paid player and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was the best-paid coach, according to a new survey
Jay Rodriguez is hoping to make his Southampton comeback before the end of the season to boost Saints' challenge for a Champions League place, sources have told ESPN FC
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Kell Brook returns to the ring for the first time since being left for dead in a horrific attack in Tenerife - now it's time for the Sheffield fighter to prove he has fully recovered, writes Steve Bunce
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Who was the first Briton to win the British Grand Prix?
The thrilling Six Nations finale was a healthy antidote to cheating footballers in what could be a huge year for rugby, writes Alan Tyers