Bristol Bears’ pack will potentially be bolstered by the return of former All Black Steven Luatua and midseason signing Joe Batley when Northampton Saints come to Ashton Gate on Friday night.

Both men missed Bristol’s 15-13 derby victory away at Bath on Friday night, with flanker Luatua absent due to ‘personal family reasons’ while lock Batley suffered an ankle injury in the 30-12 win a week earlier against Newcastle Falcons.

The two men’s addition to the selection pool provides director of rugby Pat Lam with his strongest possible options in the back five of the scrum after Joyce Joyce [Achilles] and Sam Jeffries [hamstring] made their injury returns in the derby.

Charles Piutau also came through his return from a hamstring injury sustained against Perpignan in December to form part of the Bears’ star attacking trio in the backline along with Siva Naulago - who scored against Bath - and last weekend’s man of the match Semi Radradra.

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Radradra, who will join Lyon next season, has carried his form into training this week according to Lam, who said: “We are enjoying every moment we have him and I believe there are going to be some excellent moments on the run in.

“Today in training he was phenomenal. I was having lunch with AJ MacGinty and Jimmy Williams and they were just going of, “Did you see Semi do this? Man I don’t know how he did that.” They were just waxing lyrical about him. He is in great form."

One young man who might have the unenviable job of stepping into the Fijian’s star-studded shoes next season is academy product Joe Jenkins who is likely to get increasing game time during the rest of this season as Lam looks to integrate the highly rate youngster more and more into the first team fold. Something which likely would have already happened had a hamstring injury not struck him down midseason.

Lam said: “Joe Jenkins is not too far away, he should be back in the selection mix next week.

“What was tough on him is he was down to be a part of the England U20s side as well, he has just been making sure his hamstring is good. He has been training but we are building up his tolerance.

“Semi has taken Joe under his wing and he has made massive improvements, and I believe JOe will be a quality player, because he is milking everything he can get from Semi.

“He is watching and learning, observing, listening; so that is exciting.”

Elsewhere in the backline Callum Sheedy is touch and go to be involved on Friday night, most likely from the bench with MacGinty currently favoured at fly-half, having taken a blow to the face.

Lam added: “Callum is coming back from a facial injury, he should be close this week. If not next week [for Harlequins].”

Despite it being a Six Nations fallow weekend, Bristol will be without England prop duo Kyle Sinckler and Ellis Genge this weekend, but Saints are hit hard in that regard with David Ribbans and Tommy Freeman, who both started for the Saints last weekend in their 41-34 win over Gloucester, added to England's training squad along with Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam and Alex Mitchell.