Jim Mallinder has confirmed that Saints attack coach Alex King will meet new England boss Eddie Jones this week.
Jones is keen to recruit King as the Red Rose’s new backs coach, with the 40-year-old highly rated after spells with Clermont Auvergne and Northampton.
Mallinder admits the situation is far from ideal for Saints, who face the prospect of losing a key member of their management team.
But the director of rugby insists the club would not stand in the way of King should he harbour international ambitions.
“We’ve had no official approach from the RFU, but I am aware that Alex is going to have a conversation with Eddie Jones some time this week,” Mallinder said.
“It’s not ideal, middle of the season, distractions with the thought of losing one of your best coaches, but we know what happens nowadays.
“If a job becomes available for Alex - and at the moment he’s not spoken to him (Jones) as yet - then as a club we wouldn’t stand in his way.”
And Mallinder added: “Alex has told me there’s been some form of communication.
“I’m not annoyed.
“They will have a chat, and it is only a chat - maybe they’re just going to talk about our EPS boys.
“There’s no formal job offer and Alex doesn’t know quite what the job entails.
“He doesn’t know whether it’s attack coach, backs coach, how he will fit in with the rest of the coaches, so it’s an unknown as yet.”