Mallinder to meet with Jones

Date published: January 2 2016

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder has said that he will meet with new England head coach Eddie Jones next week.

Jones has identified Northampton attack coach Alex King as a possible addition to his coaching staff, which currently includes Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard.

Northampton and Mallinder were frustrated by an unofficial approach made by the RFU for King earlier this year.

Furthermore, Saints hooker Dylan Hartley, who didn't start in the New Year's Day win over Exeter Chiefs, is understood to be in contention to become England captain.

"Eddie is coming back next week and coming into the club to see me for a chat, so hopefully I will know a bit more then," Mallinder said.

"Mike Haywood was a big call, to start him above Dylan [against Exeter] – but again he showed what he can do.

"Mikey, over the last few years, has played well for us. When we won the Premiership Mikey was a massive part of that and started when we won the final.

"We are absolutely delighted we have got two players like them and when Dylan came on he was excellent as well."

Northampton's 8-3 win over Exeter was a much-needed response after their loss away to London Irish on Boxing Day.

Mallinder said afterwards that small tweaks rather than major ramifications had been the answer in getting Saints back to winning ways.

"When you lose to the side at the bottom of the league you need to look at yourselves. We deduced we weren't a million miles away," Mallinder added.

"Our defence has been very good, our set-piece has been good, and at London Irish we missed just six tackles, we scored three tries, won all our line-outs and scrums, but lost the game. You just have to look at those little areas like discipline where Irish beat us.

"Exeter are one of the form teams in the Premiership, so to keep them down to a penalty was pleasing."