Mallinder happy with Hanrahan’s first Saints start

JJ Hanrahan made his first Saints start last weekend (picture: Sharon Lucey)
JJ Hanrahan made his first Saints start last weekend (picture: Sharon Lucey)
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Jim Mallinder was happy with how JJ Hanrahan fared in his first start at fly-half for Saints.

Hanrahan kicked five points and showed great intelligence to create Ken Pisi’s first-half score in Saturday’s Champions Cup victory against Scarlets at Franklin’s Gardens.

He had previously been utilised from the bench, impressing at centre in cameos against Newcastle Falcons and Sale Sharks and replacing Myler at fly-half during the clash with Saracens.

Mallinder handed him the No.10 shirt from the off for the Scarlets showdown, and the director of rugby felt his decision was vindicated by the former Munster man’s display.

“I think it went pretty well,” said Mallinder, who introduced Myler on the 60-minute mark, pushing Hanrahan to inside centre and Luther Burrell to 13.

“We talked about Hanrahan being very talented, we’re delighted he’s come here and you don’t just want to chuck players like that in, particularly at fly-half, too early.

“He’s been learning, he’s played a bit in pre-season, he’s come off the bench for us a few times in the centre and in difficult conditions he did really well.

“He clearly contributed to that first try.

“It was also good to see Stephen come on and contribute and we’ve got good options, having a couple of kickers in that second half.

“Myler kicked the ball to the corner well and we’re pleased with both of them.”