Mallinder hails his young stars as Saints batter Gloucester

Alex Waller congratulates Will Hooley on his try against Gloucester (pictures: James Phillips)

Alex Waller congratulates Will Hooley on his try against Gloucester (pictures: James Phillips)

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Jim Mallinder saw Saints avenge their early-season defeat by Gloucester and declared: “The future is looking bright.”

Northampton ran in five tries on their way to a 39-13 success at Franklin’s Gardens, which wiped away memories of the controversial defeat Kingsholm back in September.

Pictures by James Phillips NNL-140103-181735006

Pictures by James Phillips NNL-140103-181735006

Saints’ success was lined with landmarks, with a first Premiership try for flanker Calum Clark added to by Will Hooley’s first for the club.

Talented young centre Tom Stephenson scored his second eye-catching try in as many games, while skipper Phil Dowson made his 200th Premiership appearance.

And it is that mix of youth and experience that pleased Mallinder most, with the boss saluting his impressive squad, who have now won 12 games in a row in all competitions.

“It’s encouraging,” said Mallinder. “You can’t just have young players and play them just on their own in the Premiership because they will get beaten, so you need some experienced players.

“But then you can bring these youngsters in and as we’ve seen the likes of the Waller brothers (Alex and Ethan) and Ben Nutley were outstanding today.

“The future’s looking good, we’ve won four out of four in the Premiership with the international players away and now we can move on to the LV= Cup.”

Another boost for Mallinder was the return of full-back Ben Foden, who came off the bench after missing the previous 13 games.

And the Saints boss said: “It was really good to see Ben Foden back and he looked very sharp. It’s great news for us. Hopefully he can have a big impact for the rest of the season.”