Mallinder facing selection headache ahead of Saracens trip

PLENTY TO PONDER - Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder
PLENTY TO PONDER - Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder
  • Jim Mallinder has big decisions to make ahead of Saracens semi-final
  • The Saints director of rugby wants to name strong squad, but also wants to rest key men
  • LV= Cup Final date at Franklin’s Gardens on March 22 is the prize for the winner

Jim Mallinder admits he will have to make some ‘tough decisions’ as Saints bid to get the balance right for this weekend’s LV= Cup semi-final at Saracens.

With five key fixtures still to come in the Aviva Premiership regular season and a Champions Cup quarter-final at Clermont Auvergne also on the horizon, Mallinder knows he must shuffle his pack.

We’re a club that is built on winning. That’s what it’s about in professional sport

Jim Mallinder

But he is desperate to make sure he picks a team capable of prevailing at Allianz Park on Saturday, with the prospect of a home final at Franklin’s Gardens eight days later an enticing one.

Mallinder will assess a couple of injuries from last Saturday’s 33-33 draw at Gloucester and think long and hard about the 23-man squad he will send to Sarries.

“Christian Day got a bit of a bang to his knee and the Pisis got knocks last weekend, but it was a physical game and you expect that,” said the Saints boss.

“We’ll see how they are and then we need to make sure we get our selection right for the semi-final at Saracens.

“We’ve got to make some tough decisions there.

“We’ve always got at the back of our mind that we’ve got Premiership games and a massive European game coming up, but we’re a club that is built on winning.

“That’s what it’s about in professional sport so whatever we do we’ll be picking a side this week who have got a very good chance of giving us that win.”