Jim Mallinder believes Luther Burrell is now ‘back on his game’ after a blistering display against Saracens.
Burrell was one of Saints’ stand-out performers in the game billed as the ‘Best of English’ at stadium:mk.
The England centre’s scything run set up Samu Manoa’s score, laying the foundations for a 25-20 success.
And Mallinder is confident the former Sale Sharks player is now rediscovering his best form at exactly the right time.
“I can tell over the past few weeks that he’s really mentally back on his game,” said the director of rugby.
“He’s enjoying his rugby and when he’s playing with a smile he’s certainly one of the best centres in England.
“It’s just about him trusting the people around him and trusting the attacking setup and defensive setup that the team employs.”
Mallinder was also delighted with the display of another England star, as Courtney Lawes put in a typically towering performance.
Lawes had missed the previous league game at Exeter, with Saints left ruing his absence in a 21-10 defeat.
But he is now back to full fitness after shoulder issues and will be a key player in the Aviva Premiership run-in.
“It was great to see Courtney back,” said Mallinder.
“He’s had a couple of weeks out, but I asked him after the game and he said his shoulders are feeling fine.”