Mallinder won’t move fullback Foden to wing

Northampton Saints Boss Jim Mallinder says that he will never ask fullback Ben Foden to play on the wing after England moved him there in the June tour of South Africa.

England coach Stuart Lancaster moved Foden from fullback to wing in order to include the Northampton Saint as well as Harlequins fullback Mike Brown in the same team.

Brown was injured in the first Test match so Foden moved back to fullback in the second test but Saracens star Alex Goode was

The South Africans use territorial kicks extensively and Lancaster wanted to ensure that England had strong ball catchers across the back three.

Mallinder says that he was impressed with the way Foden played on the wing but added that he has not considered moving Foden for the Saints.

“I wasn’t surprised (Foden played on the wing for England) because Stuart Lancaster had talked about playing him there,” Mallinder told the Northampton Chronicle.

“They were struggling on the winger front but for us Ben Foden is a full-back and you get more space, time and more ball than you do on the wing.

“He didn’t look out of place on the wing at all but we won’t be considering him as a winger.

“He’s our full-back, that’s his best position but he’s like that, he’ll play anywhere in an England shirt and I thought he did really well playing on the wing.”

Meanwhile Mallinder has warned Calum Clark that he will have a battle on his hands to make it back into the Northampton side after his 32-week ban is concluded.

Clark’s ban ends on November the 2nd but Mallinder says that it is unlikely that he will get straight back into the team with Leicester Tigers scheduled for that weekend.

“Calum’s just got to make sure he’s fit,” said Mallinder.

“It will be a first game back for him so it’s probably unlikely he’ll play.

“We don’t know where we’ll be at that point but Calum will have to work to get back into the side.”

“It’s unfortunate for him because in September and October other players are going to have opportunities to claim that spot in the back row so he’s going to have to work even harder to get back into the first team.”

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