Saints boss Mallinder may double up on Grayson replacement

ALL CHANGE - Jim Mallinder (left) admits he may bring in two coaches to replace Paul Grayson (Picture: Linda Dawson)
ALL CHANGE - Jim Mallinder (left) admits he may bring in two coaches to replace Paul Grayson (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Jim Mallinder says Saints may look to more than one person to fill the coaching role vacated by Paul Grayson.

Grayson’s exit from Franklin’s Gardens was confirmed on Tuesday, ending the former fly-half’s 19-year association with the club.

His departure has led to speculation about who will take his place among Mallinder’s coaching staff, as Saints look to add an extra dimension to their attacking game.

Academy boss Alan Dickens has stepped up to take a temporary role in the first-team setup, and will hope to get the job on a full-time basis.

But Mallinder will take his time to assess his options – of which he says there are ‘hundreds of thousands’ - and may eventually make more than one addition to his management team.

“What we’ll do is we’ll have a little look around,” said the director of rugby. “We’re very open.

“Paul Grayson didn’t just do the backs, he did the kicking and quite a lot of defensive work and did a really good job on that.

“He’s had a big role has Paul so we won’t necessarily look for just one person, we’ll look for a number of combinations and see what’s the best fit for Northampton Saints.”

Mallinder’s immediate focus will be on getting a positive result against Aviva Premiership surprise package London Welsh at Franklin’s Gardens this afteroon (Sat, ko 1pm).

And the Saints boss admits he is wary of the threat the league newcomers will pose at the Gardens.

“We’re very wary,” said Mallinder. “We always are.

“We respect the opposition, whether they’re top of the league or bottom, or whether they’re London Welsh, who are a new side into the Premiership.

“They’re playing really, really well and surprising people. They play for each other, they don’t play an over-complicated game but they get stuck into the forwards, they’ve got some good line speed, some very good centres who like to carry the ball.

“We need to be at our best to get the win.”