Northampton star Samu Manoa has returned to the United States on compassionate leave after his brother passed away.
The Northamptonshire Telegraph report that the USA international will be given as much time as he needs and will miss this weekend’s match with Sale Sharks.
Manoa’s brother, Ewee, passed away on New Year’s Eve, with Manoa showing great character to play for the club in their 39-31 win over Newcastle Falcons.
“It was an incredible achievement for Samu to play so soon after hearing of the loss of his brother,” Mallinder told the Northamptonshire Telegraph.
“He did tremendous to come through and play 80 minutes.
“Our thoughts are with him and his family. He is now back in America with them and our thoughts are with them all.
“It’s always the case that (the player will be allowed as long as he needs).
“It’s a job, an important job, and sometimes we get a little bit carried away with it, but family always comes first.”