Mallinder wants more from Saints’ England stars

Northampton Saints coach Jim Mallinder has told his players that there is plenty of room for improvement ahead of the kick off of the Aviva Premiership this weekend.

The new Premiership season kicks off this weekend and Saints are preparing for a bug clash against champions and east midlands rivals Leicester so Mallinder has told his England stars they should take nothing for granted.

Northampton had Courtney Lawes, Ben Foden, Chris Ashton and Dylan Hartley included in Martin Johnson’s Elite Player Squad but Mallinder has warned his players that they can still learn more about the game and he wants to see that thirst for knowledge and improvement continue.

“You should never forget that even your international players, they can all improve, they can all be coached.” Mallinder told the Northampton Chronicle.

“Even if they are playing for England it certainly doesn’t mean they are the finished article.”

“As long as players have got that awareness and desire to be coached and learn and want to improve then you will always want them in your squad.

“It is great to work with young players, but our squad as a whole is good to work with. They all want to improve and you need that.”

Mallinder has made a number of signings over the summer and eight of the 12 signings are under 25 and English.

Youth is not everything so Mallinder has also brought in some more experienced players in locks Mark Sorenson and Adam Eustace.

The Saints boss believes that his squad is now deeper and stronger with the new recruits and says he is looking forward to them challenging his established stars.

“I look forward to seeing all of them play,” said Mallinder.

“We have got a good squad now and I think all the squad are capable of playing first team rugby.

“It is not a clear first 15 we have got, we have got some real good strength in depth in all positions now.

“The scrum-half position is a really good example of that, we have got Lee Dickson and now Ryan Powell who has come in fresh and is training really well.

“Then there is Stuart Commins, who has come over from South Africa. He is young, has loads to learn but already he is a talent at scrum-half.

“And we have got young Ryan Glynn and we saw in the sevens competition what he can do. He is quick, he gets the ball away, so we have got some real good options in all positions.”

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