Former Saints boss Mallinder to take charge of England fixture at Twickenham
Former Saints boss Jim Mallinder can't wait to take charge of an England XV when they battle the Barbarians for the Quilter Cup at Twickenham on Sunday, June 2 (kick-off 3.30pm).
Mallinder, who spent more than 10 years at Saints before departing in December 2017, will assume the role of head coach for the match, with Eddie Jones overseeing the squad.
The Quilter Cup will offer some players a final chance to make a case for selection for Japan.
Fans can also expect to see some bright new prospects for the English game who would look to be pushing for inclusion over the next four years on the road to 2023.
Mallinder will be supported by a coaching team to be confirmed, which will be agreed as part of the coach development programme between England Rugby and Premiership Rugby.
“I’m really excited to be head coach of this England team," said Mallinder, who steered Saints to their first, and so far only, Premiership title in 2014.
“It’s an important fixture because any time you put the England shirt on you are representing your country and that is a huge honour.
"Eddie will have his eyes on a certain group, but this will be an opportunity for some players who are just outside of selection to show how talented they are.
“The unpredictability of the Barbarians makes it such an exciting fixture for supporters.
"As we have seen over the past few years they always bring a strong star-studded side and have an adventurous style of playing so we are going to have to be at our very best and are looking forward to the challenge.
“This isn’t just an opportunity for the players, but also for three coaches to experience coaching international rugby and I’m looking forward to working with them for this fixture.”
Jones is looking forward to working with Mallinder, who was appointed as a pathway performance coach by the RFU last June.
“Our matches against the Barbarians have always been exciting fixtures to be involved with and a good way to finish the season on a high in front of a Twickenham crowd," Jones said.
"This match will see some exciting talent be given the opportunity to play against a Barbarians side who will no doubt be full of top-quality internationals.
"I look forward to working with Jim Mallinder in helping prepare the side for this match.”