Mallinder keeping watchful eye on Saints centre Estelles

Juan Pablo Estelles (picture: Dave Ikin)
Juan Pablo Estelles (picture: Dave Ikin)

Jim Mallinder says Juan Pablo Estelles is not far away from earning a first-team place.

Estelles joined Saints after playing for Argentina’s sevens side in Rio during the summer, but he only has one Northampton appearance to his name to date.

The 28-year-old came on as a second-half replacement in the Anglo-Welsh Cup win at Newcastle Falcons last month.

And he has since played for Argentina, starting on the wing in the recent Old Mutual Wealth Series defeat to England at Twickenham.

Estelles has recently been on dual-registration with Rotherham Titans, with Saints team-mates Tom Collins and Lewis Ludlam also representing the Titans in last week’s British & Irish Cup game against Munster A.

Estelles got on the scoresheet in that game and will hope to get his first-team chance at Franklin’s Gardens sooner rather than later.

“Yes, he is (close to playing for Saints),” Mallinder said. “He’s going well.

“Three lads went up to Rotherham and played well, and we’ve got a number of lads out on loan.

“We’re watching them carefully and they will hopefully get opportunities in the near future.”