Mallinder facing selection headache ahead of Saracens trip

PLENTY TO PONDER - Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder

PLENTY TO PONDER - Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder

  • Jim Mallinder has big decisions to make ahead of Saracens semi-final
  • The Saints director of rugby wants to name strong squad, but also wants to rest key men
  • LV= Cup Final date at Franklin’s Gardens on March 22 is the prize for the winner
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Jim Mallinder admits he will have to make some ‘tough decisions’ as Saints bid to get the balance right for this weekend’s LV= Cup semi-final at Saracens.

With five key fixtures still to come in the Aviva Premiership regular season and a Champions Cup quarter-final at Clermont Auvergne also on the horizon, Mallinder knows he must shuffle his pack.

We’re a club that is built on winning. That’s what it’s about in professional sport

Jim Mallinder

But he is desperate to make sure he picks a team capable of prevailing at Allianz Park on Saturday, with the prospect of a home final at Franklin’s Gardens eight days later an enticing one.

Mallinder will assess a couple of injuries from last Saturday’s 33-33 draw at Gloucester and think long and hard about the 23-man squad he will send to Sarries.

“Christian Day got a bit of a bang to his knee and the Pisis got knocks last weekend, but it was a physical game and you expect that,” said the Saints boss.

“We’ll see how they are and then we need to make sure we get our selection right for the semi-final at Saracens.

“We’ve got to make some tough decisions there.

“We’ve always got at the back of our mind that we’ve got Premiership games and a massive European game coming up, but we’re a club that is built on winning.

“That’s what it’s about in professional sport so whatever we do we’ll be picking a side this week who have got a very good chance of giving us that win.”