Mallinder eager to see James Wilson don Saints shirt

TALK TO ME - James Wilson talks to the media at Stowe School
TALK TO ME - James Wilson talks to the media at Stowe School

JIM MALLINDER says he can’t wait to see James Wilson don the Saints shirt for the first time.

And he has confirmed the versatile Kiwi, who arrived at Franklin’s Gardens last Friday, is set to be handed a central berth this season.

Wilson is likely to play his first Saints game on Friday when they take on Italian outfit Zebre in the Vaquerin Challenge match at Millau.

And boss Mallinder admits he is really looking forward to seeing the former Bourgoin player get a run-out in the green, black and gold.

“He’s not been here long,” said the Saints boss. “He only arrived on Friday afternoon and trained for the first time on Monday morning.

“It’s really good to see him. He’s looking sharp, he’s looking fit and I’m really looking forward to seeing him play.”

Wilson has played at full-back and fly-half during spells at provincial New Zealand side Southlands and French outfit Bourgoin.

He possesses a booming right boot, but Mallinder believes that will be best used at centre, where he intends to play the 28-year-old.

“Mainly centre is what he’s looking to play but as you’ve seen from his previous record he’s played a lot of time at 10 and at full-back so being versatile always helps,” he said.

“He does kick a ball really well and that’s one of the things he’s really got.”