1. ITV Report

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder departs from Northampton Saints

Mallinder was the longest-serving director of rugby in the Premiership Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder has left the club after more than 10 years at the club.

Mallinder joined at Franklin’s Gardens in 2007 and was the longest-serving director of rugby in the Premiership.

But after a recent string of bad results the board agreed a change in management was needed.

John White, Northampton Saints Chairman said: "Jim has been an outstanding director of rugby. We have been very lucky to have him at Franklin’s Gardens and he will always be a part of the Saints family.”

“This is not a decision that has been taken lightly, but the board and major shareholders felt that the time was right for some change.”

Jim Mallinder (second left) led Saints to the Premiership title in 2014

Mallinder clinched trophies in each of his first three seasons at Franklin’s Gardens, winning National League One and a National Trophy double before securing the European Challenge Cup and the LV= Cup in the seasons that followed.

But Mallinder’s greatest success was yet to come as The Saints were crowned Premiership champions in 2014, after beating Saracens at Twickenham.

Alan Dickens, the club’s attack coach, will take over in the short-term position Credit: PA

The Saints are currently 10th and on the brink of elimination after winning just four league games this season.

Mark Darbon, Northampton Saints CEO said: “Jim has done a superb job as Northampton Saints’ director of rugby over the last decade, and the amount of silverware the club has won during his tenure speaks for itself. We thank Jim for all he has done at Franklin’s Gardens,”

“We will now begin an extensive search to find a world-class director of rugby to replace Jim."

“Whilst that search is underway, we will look to bolster our existing coaching group with some additional leadership and experience on a short-term basis for this season."

Alan Dickens will oversee rugby and coaching matters on temporary basis Credit: PA

Attack coach Alan Dickens will taken over as interim head coach while Northampton embark upon "an extensive search to find a world-class director of rugby".

Dickens has been involved in the coaching set-up at Franklin’s Gardens since retiring as a player in 2010.

The 41-year-old graduated from Academy manager to the first-team coaching squad in 2012.