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Mallinder delighted with internationals' performance

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The Saints have had players on several continents over the past week, and at one stage had the on-field captains for both the England senior and Under-20 sides in the same week.

Tom Wood was the former, the flanker leading England to a first ever series whitewash of Argentina on the Pumas' own turf. Half-a-dozen of his club mates played on the tour, and when Stephen Myler came off the bench to win his first cap it was the first time that six players had represented England in the same test match.

Lee Dickson, Ben Foden, Paul Doran Jones and Courtney Lawes also saw game time in the test matches, while Luther Burrell caught the eye in the other tour match against a Sudamerica XV.

In the same week that Wood was captaining England in Argentina, Alex Day skippered the Under-20s in their IRB Junior World Championships (JWC) pool match against the USA.

Leading from the front, Day got England Under-20s' first hat trick in 18 months, and between them the scrum-half, fly half Will Hooley and centre Tom Stephenson scored 47 of England's 109 points, itself a JWC record.

Day and prop Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi have played in all of England's matches in the tournament, including the semi-final win against New Zealand, England's first ever win over the Baby Blacks.

In the United States, Samu Manoa caught the eye with his performance in the Eagles' narrow loss to Ireland, while wing Vasily Artemyev is preparing to represent Russia in the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Meanwhile in Australia, future Saints George North and Alex Corbisiero have earmarked themselves as contenders for placed in the British and Irish Lions' match day squads for the upcoming tests against the Wallabies.

Mallinder commented that this representative form bodes well for the future at club level.

"I have been delighted with the form of our players, and been proud of their performances," he said. "Tom Wood led England superbly in South America, which is always a challenging place to tour and a difficult place to win. Ben Foden, Courtney Lawes and Lee Dickson all showed their experience and quality, while Stephen Myler and Luther Burrell both demonstrated that they are comfortable playing at that level.

"Samu Manoa took his club form into the United States' match against Ireland, and I'm very excited by the prospect of working with George North and Alex Corbisiero, who have stood out while playing for the Lions in Australia.

"I'm also very happy in how our young players have performed for England Under-20 in the Junior World Championships. Alex Day has been calm and assured at scrum-half, and leading the team against the USA will have improved his leadership skills. Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi has continued to develop in every game that he's played, and Will Hooley and Tom Stephenson took their opportunity to shine.

"Of course there will be plenty of work to do during pre-season to make sure that we are ready for the Aviva Premiership campaign, but the last few weeks have shown that we have plenty of quality players at Franklin's Gardens."

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