Former Saints back Mallinder ready to try to make it in the NFL

Harry Mallinder (photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)Harry Mallinder (photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Harry Mallinder (photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Former Saints back Harry Mallinder is ready to pursue the dream of playing in the NFL after enlisting in their international player pathway (IPP).

There was big news earlier this week when Gloucester wing Louis Rees-Zammit opted to quit rugby to try his hand at making it in the NFL.

And now it has been revealed that Mallinder, who played for Saints between 2013 and 2021 before joining Japanese side Black Rams Tokyo, will be doing the same thing.

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Having graduated from the Academy at the Gardens, Mallinder was capable of playing at fly-half, centre and full-back for Saints and he captained England Under-20s to World Cup glory before touring Argentina with England's senior side a year later.

However, he is now moving away from rugby to try to make it as a kicker and punter in the NFL.

The latest IPP features 11 athletes and five specialists from eight different nations. They come from sports such as rugby, basketball, athletics, Gaelic football and Australian rules football.

They're looking to follow in the footsteps of IPP alumni Jordan Mailata, Jakob Johnson, Efe Obada, Sammis Reyes and David Bada who have made active rosters with the Philadelphia Eagles, Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Commanders.

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"The IPP class of 2024 presents a group of incredibly talented athletes from diverse sporting backgrounds and nations across the globe," said Osi Umenyiora, who is leading the NFL's Africa program.

"Our international football development programs at the NFL offer life-changing opportunities for talent, and will only continue to impact the league this season and in the seasons ahead.

"This is only the beginning for these players, and we look forward to sharing their stories and the game of football with the world."

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