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.
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“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.”