Jim Mallinder

Director of Rugby


Under the leadership of director of rugby Jim Mallinder, the Saints have gone from the second tier of English rugby to genuine Premiership and European contenders.

Trophies were added to the cabinet in each of Jim’s first three seasons in charge. Saints secured a National League One and National Trophy double in 2007/08, before winning the European Challenge Cup in 2008/09 and the LV= Cup in 2009/10.

Furthermore, in 2009/10 the Saints finished second in the Premiership table, their highest position for a decade, and secured a first home play-off semi-final in the club's history. In addition to the Anglo-Welsh success, the Saints went further in the Heineken Cup than any other English team, departing the tournament in a fiercely contested quarter-final at Thomond Park.

The 2010/11 seasonsaw the Saints reach the Premiership knockout stages once again, but it was in Europe that Jim's side almost produced the ultimate performance. The eventual Heineken Cup heartbreak against Leinster was hard to take, but when put into perspective the disappointment only served to further highlight the impressive job Jim had done during his four years in charge. 

Another final would follow in 2011/12 - the LV= Cup once more - and while that game with Leicester, along with an Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final at Harlequins, would end in defeat, it was another competitive season from an injury and internationally depleted Saints squad.

The Saints reached another final in 2013, this time the Aviva Premiership final, resulting in further disappointment, but just 12 months later the Saints were the toast of the East Midlands. In eight memorable days they dispatched Bath in the European Challenge Cup final and then Saracens in an Aviva Premiership final that will be talked about for years and years to come.

Finishing top of the Aviva Premiership table in 2015 has only heaped more expectation on the Saints but, despite this, Jim's attitude remains the same; take one game at a time, work hard and what will come, will come.

Based on Jim’s background it isn't surprising that he has brought success to the Saints. Jim joined the club from the RFU, where he had guided England Under-21s to a Grand Slam and the Saxons to the Churchill Cup, where they beat the New Zealand Maori in the final. Prior to that he had taken Sale Sharks from 11th to second in the Premiership in a single season and led them to their first ever trophy, the 2005 Challenge Cup.

During his playing career he was an uncompromising full back with his sheer size complementing his speed and game understanding. Although his England caps were limited to a pair won against Argentina in 1997, he played a big part in Sale's resurgence and establishment in the top flight.