Mallinder admits Saints '˜neglected' back-line recruitment as club targets big signings

Jim Mallinder admits Saints have '˜neglected' their back-line recruitment during recent years.

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 1:34 am
Updated Thursday, 15th December 2016, 11:22 am
Jim Mallinder admits Saints have not made enough additions to their back line in recent years (picture: Sharon Lucey)

And the director of rugby insists the club will put that right ahead of next summer.

Saints brought in renowned stars Kahn Fotuali’i and George North ahead of the 2013/14 season, when they went on to win the Aviva Premiership for the first time, as well as claiming the Amlin Challenge Cup crown.

But since then, fewer world class talents have been added to the backs division, with last summer’s big name recruit coming in the pack, in the form of France star Louis Picamoles.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And Saints are now seeking a marquee signing in their back line, as well as other recruits to bolster their attacking game for next season and beyond.

“I talked recently about recruitment and that is probably an area where we’ve not been at our best,” Mallinder said.

“When you win the Premiership, when you finish top of the league, you want to keep all those players who are playing well.

“You want to keep them but salaries increase and that takes up a lot of your salary cap.

“If you look at some of the other teams who are really flying at the moment, they pushed on, so they’ve not just retained the players, they’ve gone out and they’ve signed big names and paid big money to bring players in.

“If I’m being honest, we have brought certain players in who have added to the team, but, particularly in the back line, that’s been an area we’ve neglected.

“Hence why for next season, we’re looking to really improve those areas.”

And when asked whether fans can expect some statement signings in the New Year, Mallinder simply said: “Yes.”