Mallinder relieved Sale Sharks missed the drop

Northampton Saints head coach Jim Mallinder says that he is relieved that his former club Sale Sharks have avoided Premiership relegation this season.


44-year-old Mallinder was with Sale for 15 years as a player and then a coach, before he joined the RFU’s National Academy setup in 2004.


Worcester Warriors lost to Leeds Carnegie 12-10 last weekend and have been relegated which means that Sale Sharks stay in the top flight.


Mallinder says that it would have been a huge blow for rugby in the north west if Sale had gone down this season.


“All my energies and thoughts are on Northampton Saints and doing what we can to win as many competitions as we can,” he said.


“We’ve won one already and we are in a brilliant position to have a chance of winning another at the end of the season.


“So, I wouldn’t want to be in any other position.” he told Sky Sports.


“However, in terms of Sale Sharks, it is disappointing to see them down there and they are a good club.


“It would have been a massive shame to not have any Premiership rugby in the north west of England, which is such a massive area, with such a large number of players playing there rugby there.


“So, it was a relief that Sale stayed up, and they can now regroup.”


Saints impressive season has been underpinned by their immaculate home record, which has seen them win 16 of their matches at Franklin’s Gardens in all competitions this season.


Saracens however ended their 14-month unbeaten run at home and Mallinder says that he is determined to put the loss behind them.


“That result aside, it is essential that you keep winning at home because the league brings up so many tough games both home and away,” he said.


“If you can keep picking up the points on your home turf then it will always put you in a good position, with a decent away form helping to propel you closer to or within the top four.


“It is always something we talk about at the start of each season, to make this place a difficult place for opposition to want to come.


“It is somewhere we enjoy playing rugby and there is a brilliant surface at Franklin’s Gardens, plus the crowd really get behind the team.”

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