Saints boss Mallinder faces difficult selection decision for Falcons clash

Stephen Myler was a second-half replacement at Sale last Saturday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Stephen Myler was a second-half replacement at Sale last Saturday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder admits he faces a difficult selection decision at fly-half for Friday night's key game against Newcastle Falcons at Franklin's Gardens.

James Grayson wore the No.10 shirt in last Saturday's 18-15 defeat at Sale Sharks, doing little wrong on his first Premiership start.

Stephen Myler, who came off the bench for the final six minutes at the AJ Bell Stadium, then responded with a superb showing for the Wanderers on Monday night.

And Saints can also now select Piers Francis, who has returned to his club following a cameo in England's win against Samoa at Twickenham last Saturday.

"It's a difficult one," Mallinder said.

"We've got some real good options because James Grayson went well on his first start last week.

"We've got Stephen who put in that big performance on Monday and is putting his hands up for consideration and then we've got Piers Francis, who came off the bench for England.

"We've got some good options in the fly-half position."

Myler's display in the Wanderers' 61-10 demolition of Sale was particularly eye-catching.

He was on the mark with all eight of his conversions and produced a passing masterclass in open play.

And Mallinder said: "He was very, very good.

"The forwards gave him a really good platform and he managed to play flat, attacking the Sale backs and putting our outside backs in really good positions.

"And, as always, his goalkicking was exceptional.

"He had a wonderful evening and he probably enjoyed it being out there with the younger lads.

"Having someone around like that is a massive help to our young centres (Fraser Dingwall and Fraser Strachan), who were outstanding, as were the full-back (George Furbank) and wingers (Tom Collins and Ken Pisi)."