Saints youngster Mallinder handed England call ahead of Six Nations opener

Harry Mallinder has been called up by England (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Harry Mallinder has been called up by England (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Harry Mallinder has been handed an England call ahead of the Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome on February 4.

Mallinder travelled with the national squad to Argentina last summer but has yet to be capped by his country.

Despite Saints' struggles this season, the 21-year-old has still managed to shine in three different positions.

Mallinder has been utilised at centre, full-back and, most recently, fly-half by his club.

He has helped them win nine of the 12 competitive matches he has started at 10 and recently attracted praise from interim head coach Alan Dickens.

"I've got nothing but admiration for Harry Mallinder," Dickens said.

"He's had it tough with (his dad) Jim going, but he's got a fantastic attitude and he wears his heart on his sleeve.

"He's a Northampton man and he wants the team and the club to do well.

"I think he's fantastic."

Mallinder will now aim to shine in England colours after being named as part of the 35-man squad.

Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes have also been included.

The group will travel to Portugal for a week-long training camp before reconvening on Monday, January 29 at Pennyhill Park ahead of the tournament opener.

England boss Eddie Jones said: “I have selected the strongest available squad to prepare for our opening match against Italy.

"It is important we start the tournament well and we will spend the next two weeks training smart and really fine-tuning our game plan for the Italy match next month.

“I am expecting a really positive training camp in Portugal and while we have a few players unavailable through injury or suspension, it has provided opportunity for others who will be desperate to be involved in the Italy game.”

England squad: Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Nathan Earle (Saracens), Harry Mallinder (Saints), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers); Forwards: Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Saints), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Lewis Boyce (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Saints), Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)