Mallinder to stay a Saint until at least 2013

Northampton Saints have revealed that director of rugby Jim Mallinder has committed himself to the club until at least 2013.

The new deal is a further two-year extension to Mallinder’s current contract, which was due to expire in 2011 and represents a massive statement of intent by the Saints director of rugby ahead of the Heineken Cup and Guinness Premiership run-ins.

“Jim has turned the team around in his two-and-a-half years here and the Board and I believe he is in the process of building something very special,” said Saints chief executive Allan Robson.

“We wanted to ensure that this can continue, which is why we offered him a contract extension and are delighted he has signed it. I believe all the club’s supporters will be as happy as we are that Jim has committed himself to the Saints for at least a further two years.

“He has built a team that is playing stylish and successful rugby and is building on the foundations laid over the past two-and-a-half years.

“Northampton Saints is a club that is hungry for success, on and off the field, and we believe that Jim can continue delivering this in the near future.”

Under Mallinder the Saints team has progressed on a steady upward curve, from the undefeated 2007/08 National League One campaign, through Guinness Premiership consolidation and European Challenge Cup success, to its current position in the Guinness Premiership top four and remaining in contention for the knock-out stages of both the Heineken Cup and Anglo Welsh LV= Cup.

But Mallinder says that there is more to come, which is why he has chosen to stay with the club until 2013.

“We still have a lot of improvement to make as a team,” he said.

“The players, coaches and all the backroom staff have worked very hard to be in contention in all three competitions we are in this season.

“But I want us to stay at the top end of the Guinness Premiership and become regular contenders in the Heineken Cup over the next three years.

“I believe we can achieve this, which is why I have decided to extend my stay for another two years.”

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