Mallinder backs Burrell for England

Date published: November 5 2013

Northampton's director of rugby Jim Mallinder has thrown his weight behind Luther Burrell's bid to represent England.

Northampton's director of rugby Jim Mallinder has thrown his weight behind Luther Burrell bid to represent England.

Burrell, who was released by England boss Stuart Lancaster ahead of Saturday's victory over Australia at Twickenham, shone during the Saints' 19-14 win over London Irish on Sunday.

His defence, in particular, was impressive and Mallinder believes he won't let his country down if he gets a chance to feature for England against Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday.

“What Luther does do is he's improved his confidence in defence over the last year or so,” said Saints director of rugby Mallinder told the Northampton Chronicle and Echo.

“You see that now. He's very aggressive in defence.

“He works well with Stephen Myler and George Pisi, he has a very good linespeed, he makes good decisions and he's very physical.

“He's a player who's playing well and if Stuart was looking for options he'd be one that he should look at.”

And Burrell's centre partner George Pisi also backed Mallinder's claims, making it clear how much the 25-year-old has improved since joining Northampton from Sale in 2012.

“He's playing awesome at the moment,” said Pisi.

“He's got a lot of confidence in himself as you could see on Sunday.

“Hopefully he'll get a crack in the England team, but for us he's doing really well and I just hope he keeps progressing from there.

“He's worked on his defence a lot last year and this year and he's probably playing his best rugby at the moment.

“He's knocking on the door and he's not far off. Hopefully he gets an opportunity and we'll support him in that.”