Fotuali'i handed first Saints start
September 12, 2013
Kahn Fotuali'i starts for the Saints © Getty Images
Northampton Saints have handed Kahn Fotuali'i his first competitive start ahead of their game against Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday evening.
The Samoan scrum-half was one of three standout signings made by the Saints in the close-season and he lines up in a side which also includes British & Irish Lions George North and Alex Corbisiero. Saints boss Jim Mallinder has changed four in total from the side that beat Exeter last weekend with James Wilson, Calum Clark, Samu Manoa and Fotuali'i all starting.
Their opponents, Harlequins, also started their season with a win, though by a much narrower margin, and Conor O'Shea, like Mallinder, has also shuffled his pack. They too make four changes with Paul Doran-Jones handed his first senior start, ironically against the side he joined Harlequins from in the summer. Tom Williams, Maurie Fa'asavalu and Tom Casson also get the nod.
The night's other games sees Newcastle travel to the Salford City Stadium to take on Sale Sharks. The Sharks have omitted Danny Cipriani from the matchday squad once again while Jonny Leota misses out on a place in the side having picked up a knock against Gloucester last weekend. Mark Cueto moves to the centres with Tom Brady starting on the wing.
The Falcons have made five changes with Will Welch returning as captain. Elsewhere, Jamie Helleur is ruled out with concussion sustained against Bath last week with Adam Powell replacing him at inside centre. Oliver Tomaszczyk comes into the front-row alongside hooker Matt Thompson who returns from illness while in the second-row Fraser McKenzie makes his debut.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Download ESPN's new UK multisport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action
The latest Week in Pictures takes in some original ways of welcoming teams to the field and plenty of tries from the European Champions Cup