Mallinder unconcerned at how Saints will cope with Six Nations absentees

UNCONCERNED - Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder
UNCONCERNED - Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder

Jim Mallinder has no concerns about how his squad will stand up to Six Nations scrutiny.

Instead, he insists any club would struggle to cope without four frontline players in any position as his men did at Sale last weekend.

Mallinder was without all of his recognised locks, meaning No.8 Sam Dickinson and flanker Calum Clark were thrust into the second row.

But both men were sin-binned as Saints went down 20-7 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Despite that, Mallinder does not believe his side will struggle when shorn of a host on international stars next month.

“We’re always on our guard and most teams, if they lose four of their best second rowers, would be struggling,” he said.

“There’s not many teams in the country who can call on any more than that.

“We’ve got a good squad, we know it’s not the biggest in the league and we rely a lot on our youngsters coming through. When players are out, there are good opportunities.

“We saw Teimana Harrison come on last weekend and I thought he was excellent in the second half. He scored a great try.

“Jordan Onojaife came on for five minutes at the end, Joel Hodgson came on and it’s good for them.

“If we lose some our our more experienced players, we’ve got these young players coming through with good experience and they will only get better.”