Saints still in talks with Hanrahan amid Munster speculation

JJ Hanrahan has been linked with a return to Munster (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

JJ Hanrahan has been linked with a return to Munster (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

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Jim Mallinder insists no decision has been made on the future of JJ Hanrahan - despite reports suggesting the player will be heading back to Munster.

Hanrahan recently told this publication that he hadn’t reached a decision on what to do when his current Saints deal expires next summer.

But it has been reported in Ireland that the 24-year-old will return to Munster, who he left for Saints in 2015.

Mallinder was asked about the speculation at Wednesday’s media session, and he said: “There’s nothing confirmed there.

“We’re still talking with him and a number of other members of our squad in terms of what we and they want to do.”

When asked whether the fact Saints are currently out of the Aviva Premiership top six, which guarantees Champions Cup qualification, would affect Hanrahan’s decision making, Mallinder said: “I’m not sure how long it will take (for him to make a decision).”

Hanrahan was one of the few positives for Saints in last Friday’s 37-10 Champions Cup defeat to Leinster at Franklin’s Gardens.

He was eventually forced off with an ankle injury, but looks set to be fit to face the Irish giants in the return match in Dublin on Saturday night.

“They (Hanrahan and Jamie Elliott) are both doing well and they were nothing too severe,” Mallinder said.

“There’s a good chance that Hanrahan will be available. We’ll just have to see about Jamie - he might be another week or so.”