Aviva Premiership - Round 2
Fotuali'i handed first Saints start
ESPN Staff
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.

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