Saints boss Mallinder ready to call on Six Nations stars for Wasps clash

Jim  Mallinder
Jim Mallinder

Jim Mallinder says Saints’ Six Nations stars are ‘very keen’ to get involved against Wasps on Friday night.

But the director of rugby admits he could opt against throwing them all straight back in for the Aviva Premiership clash at Franklin’s Gardens.

Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Luther Burrell and George North all returned to training at Northampton on Monday after last Saturday’s dramatic international action.

And Saints have been keen to reintegrate those players as soon as possible, with a crucial run of games in the offing.

“We’ll see whether we should start them or not, but they’ll definitely come back into the squad,” said Mallinder.

“They’ve been training the past couple of days and they’re all very, very keen to get involved.

“We might mix and match a bit, some might start, some come off the bench, but we want to get them playing and involved with the squad as soon as we can.”

None of the Saints players were able to celebrate Six Nations glory, with Ireland’s superior points difference depriving England and Wales of the title.

But Mallinder was hugely impressed with the roles his men played for their countries.

“They’ve had great tournaments,” said the Saints boss.

We might mix and match a bit, some might start, some come off the bench, but we want to get them playing and involved with the squad as soon as we can

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder

“The games were brilliant to watch in terms of a spectacle, attacking rugby and we know why that happened: because of the situation surrounding it.

“It made for a fantastic day’s watching and I thought George North played really well, as I did with all our England players.

“To beat France by that score they’re clearly disappointed not to go on and with the Six Nations but it was a terrific effort by all of them.”