English Rugby
Mallinder yet to hear from the RFU
ESPNscrum Staff
December 7, 2011
Northampton boss Jim Mallinder in relaxed mood, Northampton Saints v Scarlets, Heineken Cup, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, England, November 18, 2011
Jim Mallinder's name has been linked with the England post © Getty Images

Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder has revealed that he has not been contacted by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) regarding the vacant England post.

Mallinder's was considered one of the early favourites to succeed Martin Johnson as England boss when he quit his post last month and the Saints' director of rugby initially expressed his interest in the role. But following widespread reports that the RFU have contacted candidates such as former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett and ex-New Zealand coach Wayne Smith, Mallinder appears to have distanced himself from a potentially high-profile switch.

"No one has spoken to me and I am focused on the Saints. Two or three weeks ago it came out in the press about England and my name was put forward which is very flattering," Mallinder told Sky Sports News. "But Northampton Saints is my club and I want to concentrate on getting the best players fit and available for selection and get them playing well on Saturday.

"I have a fantastic job here and Northampton Saints are a brilliant rugby club and I love it here. I have great support from the board and the owner and from all the supporters who attend here.

"I have said in the past that at one stage I would love to coach England and I still mean that, but I am 45-years of age and I have a lot of time to go and it would have to be the right opportunity for me to make the next step."

And following the four-week ban handed to Chris Ashton on Tuesday for his part in the melee during the East Midlands derby, Mallinder has expressed his dismay at the sentence handed to the England speedster and admitted they are considering appealing the decision.

"Yeah he's a massive loss and we're really disappointed about last night [Tuesday] and for Chris to get a four-week ban is disappointing," Mallinder said. "But we've just got the written judgement through so we'll sit down on Wednesday afternoon and have a look at that and we still have 48 hours to decide whether to appeal.

"We think that four weeks is fairly harsh and of course we do not want this incident to happen but if it was an isolated incident then I don't know whether it would warrant being a red card or not in a normal game.

"But it was not a normal game - it was a physical encounter between two rivals and a fantastic game of rugby and it was a shame that something like this had to happen. It looked bad because of the melee of bodies but it was not that bad in the wider context of the game."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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