Biggar still 'incredibly excited' about switching to Saints

Saints chief executive Mark Darbon insists Dan Biggar is still 'incredibly excited' about moving to Franklin's Gardens - despite Jim Mallinder's departure.

Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 11:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 11:35 pm
Mark Darbon (centre) insists Dan Biggar is still excited about joining Saints, despite the departure of Jim Mallinder

Saints confirmed the capture of Biggar back in September, with the Ospreys and Wales star to arrive in the summer of 2018.

The 28-year-old, who is currently sidelined with concussion, was at the Gardens last week, working as a television pundit during Saints' Champions Cup defeat to Ospreys.

Three days later, Mallinder was relieved of his role as director of rugby after 10 years in charge.

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But Darbon insists nothing has changed for Biggar and looks forward to welcoming the talented fly-half to Northampton ahead of next season.

"I spoke to Dan yesterday and he's incredibly excited about coming here," Darbon said.

"He was here on Saturday and he saw a disappointing performance from us in a venue that wasn't full.

"But he's itching to come here and to get on with it.

"Nothing has changed over the past couple of days."

This is traditionally the time of year when recruitment tends to kick up a gear.

But with Saints having dispatched with the services of their director of rugby, will they be affected when it comes to attracting new players to the club?

"Is this the ideal time to make a change? Probably not as it's mid-season," Darbon said.

"Do we think it's the right decision? Yes.

"We're are really excited by the players we've signed who will be arriving next season as well as the players we've recently re-signed on the back of their success here.

"I don't think it's going to have a dramatic impact on our priorities when it comes to retention and recruitment and we've got a team who can continue to work on that."

Saints are set to appoint a replacement for Mallinder on a short-term deal while they look for a long-term successor.

So would the man who comes in for the remainder of this campaign have a say when it comes to recruitment?

"They would have some input," Darbon said.

"We want the type of person with the type of expertise who can offer some counsel, but we've got a group of coaches here and an experienced management group who sit alongside that who can help us make decisions.

"We'll stick with the approach we think has served us well so far."