No further changes to Saints coaching staff following Gaffney's arrival

Mark Darbon says it would not be practical to make any further changes to the Saints coaching staff this season.

Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, 12:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, 3:50 pm
Mark Darbon (left) says Saints will keep their current coaches in place

And the CEO believes new coaching consultant Alan Gaffney, who started work at Franklin's Gardens on Monday, can get the best out of the current management team and playing squad.

Gaffney will fill the role until the end of the season, stepping in following director of rugby Jim Mallinder's dismissal last month.

The 70-year-old Australian will oversee the work of interim head coach Alan Dickens, forwards coach Dorian West, defence coach Phil Dowson and assistant coach Mark Hopley.

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And when asked whether that structure was now set in stone for the remainder of the 2017/18 campaign, Darbon said: "We don't expect to make any further changes this season, for sure.

"It's not really practical to do that at this stage and we're all keen to get behind our coaches.

"With Alan's guidance, hopefully we can turn things around.

"He's really excited about the role.

"He knows Alan (Dickens) and he's excited to get the chance to work with Alan and help him develop and help the other coaches and our players do the same.

"Based on our conversations he looks at our squad and thinks it's an exciting group of players and feels we should be doing better than what we are.

"He's keen to roll his sleeves up and help us through the back half of the season."

Saints have lost 12 of their past 13 matches in all competitions.

And Gaffney has been briefed about shaking things up at the club.

"I've had a number of conversations with him and he's got deep knowledge of the game of rugby, and he talks really passionate about it," Darbon said.

"He's got a reputation of being a progressive thinker, a real student of the game and that comes through when you talk to him.

"He's a winner and he won't be afraid to call a spade a spade and share his opinions, which is part of the brief to him.

"He's going to want to come in and have an impact and hopefully that will lead to an upturn in fortunes during the second half of the season."