Jim Mallinder says Richard Cockerill will still have a big influence on Saturday’s showdown at Welford Road – despite the Leicester boss’s ban.
Cockerill is not allowed to take part in coaching activities on matchdays after being slapped with a nine-game suspension for his behaviour in the 37-17 Premiership final win against Saints in May.
The Leicester director of rugby harangued fourth official Stuart Terheege, complaining about Courtney Lawes’ hit on Toby Flood during the first half. He later appeared at an RFU hearing and it was decided he would not be able to return to full matchday duties until October 18, with assistant coach Paul Burke taking charge in his absence.
But when asked whether the Tigers would be hampered by Cockerill’s ban, Mallinder said: “Not at all. He’ll be leading it, he’ll be doing everything that he does in the week.
“Although he won’t be sat in his little box behind his screen shouting away, I’m sure he’ll be in some little corner of Welford Road shouting at the referee.”
Mallinder, who took over at Saints in 2008, has yet to taste victory at Welford Road.
Northampton last won there in 2007 when Mark Robinson scored a crucial try in a 10-9 victory.
And Mallinder said: “It would be absolutely terrific to win there. In my time at Saints I’ve not had a win up at Welford Road.
“Personally, it would be great for me and I know the team understand how competitive it is, how difficult it is to win up there, but we know it is possible and we’re going to go there in a determined mood.”