Northampton Saints - Mallinder won’t rush signings to please fans

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Jim Mallinder says he won’t rush into any signings just to please the Saints fans.

Saints supporters have seen four first-team players announce they will be leaving at the end of the season, with Jon Clarke this week confirming he will be joining Worcester.

The 28-year-old centre joins Roger Wilson, James Downey and Chris Ashton out of the exit door with no news of any replacements on the horizon.

Mallinder has missed out on Jonathan Davies, who decided to stay at Scarlets, but he has stated that he is close to bringing in new players for next season, with a centre, wing and back row on the shopping list.

Saints fans have been worrying about the lack of recruits on the fans’ messageboards, but the Saints director of rugby won’t be rushed.

“It is a question of making sure you get the right people and not rushing into signings to please the fans,” said Mallinder. “We need to make sure you get the right people, because they are the ones who will come in and help us win games and win things next season.

“There is always gossip about next season and that is always nice to have. But my job is to provide a winning team. My main focus is during the week on getting the team winning on Saturday, that is what gets fans excited.”

Finding quality players who are available for the whole season like Wilson and Downey are hard to come by, but Mallinder says he is scouring the world to find the right ones.

“We are looking for players who will not be away for international matches,” said Mallinder. “It is good to have a number of internationals in your team. We are proud of our England players and players who play international rugby, but it has been proven before that if you lose too many of those players it affects you.

“We can’t afford that, we are really pleased with our England players and we want to keep them, but we have got to make sure we have got a team here who are good enough during the international period to help us keep winning things.

“You can’t just limit yourself to one market, you would be stupid to ignore the emerging nations, because there are some very good rugby players out there.

“You have got to look at that, but of course you have to look at your rugby playing countries who produce good players; New Zealand, South Africa, the Islanders and there are some good players in Wales, Scotland and Ireland as well.”