Calum Clark set to make Northampton return at Tigers

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder says Calum Clark is "dying" to play after his 32-week ban.

Clark is expected to feature at Leicester Tigers, having been banned for an incident in which Leicester's Rob Hawkins suffered a broken elbow.

Mallinder told BBC Northampton: "He's missed not playing and he's been working on his fitness and his game.

"He's dying to get back. Calum is a professional player and it's not about what's happened in the past."

Calum Clark

Clark was banned following an incident in their LV= Cup final defeat by Saturday's opponents Leicester

Mallinder continued: "We're looking forward to seeing him play on Saturday. He'll be doing his very best to help Northampton win that game."

Meanwhile, Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Phil Dowson have been released back to the Saints squad by England.

"Dylan's [knee] injury is a bit more serious Courtney's [knee] injury," said Mallinder.

"We're looking at a couple of weeks [out] for Courtney whereas Dylan will be a little bit longer than that.

"They've been playing well and I think they'd have been vital members of the England team over the autumn internationals.

"It's very disappointing for Phil that he's not been kept, but he knows what he's got to do and if there's one bad game by one of their 23 and one brilliant game from him and he's got a very good chance of being called up."