Mallinder sees new Saints signing Hodgson as a scrum-half

SMILE PLEASE - Glenn Dickson, Will Hooley and George North look on as Kahn Fotuali'i has his picture taken during Saints media day at Franklin's Gardens yesterday (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

SMILE PLEASE - Glenn Dickson, Will Hooley and George North look on as Kahn Fotuali'i has his picture taken during Saints media day at Franklin's Gardens yesterday (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

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Jim Mallinder says Saints will look to utilise new signing Joel Hodgson at scrum-half this season.

Hodgson has moved to Northampton from Newcastle Falcons, where he was often seen playing at 10.

The 22-year-old, who expects to be fit for the start of the season after suffering a wrist injury during his time at Kingston Park, admits he favours a stand-off role, but is happy to play wherever he is needed at Saints.

And while Mallinder won’t close the door on Hodgson playing at fly-half, they are keen for him to compete with the likes of Lee Dickson and Kahn Fotuali’i at nine.

And Mallinder said: “I primarily see him as a nine, but we’ll look to give him a go at 10 as well and get him to push for that as well.

“We’ve seen him play at 10 and he’s very accomplished in that position, but he’s also played at nine in the past so that’s where we’re putting a lot of our emphasis on.

“The French do it very well with their nines and 10s in terms of having someone who can play in both positions.

“He’s a goalkicking option for us and we know we don’t have a massive squad so to have someone who can play in both positions like that is vital.”