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Jim Mallinder's reward for winning Northampton's first Premiership? A new five-year deal

Northampton Saints hail Mallinder as England’s best director of rugby as he pens a long-term extension.

Mallinder has been at Franklin's Gardens since 2007.
Mallinder has been at Franklin's Gardens since 2007.
Image: Joe Giddens

JIM MALLINDER HAD five more reasons to celebrate this weekend after he was handed a long-term contract extension by the newly-crowned Aviva Premiership champions Northampton Saints.

The five-year deal will see Mallinder, who arrived at Franklin’s Gardens in 2007, remain as director of rugby until the end of the 2018/2019 season.

The news comes just two days after the Saints clinched their first Premiership title in a nailbiting extra-time win against Saracens.

And Mallinder said: “We’re getting better and better, not just as a team and a squad, but as a club, and it’s something I want to be a part of.”

Saints chief executive Allan Robson hailed Mallinder as the best director of rugby in the Premiership.

The Midlands club have won five trophies since his arrival including the Amlin Challenge Cup in 2009 and again this season.

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“The last seven years have been massively exciting for everyone associated with the Saints, and I’ve got no doubt that the next five will see us go from strength to strength,” Robson said.

“Jim has firmly established himself as the best director of rugby in the Aviva Premiership, not just in putting together one of the most exciting and talented first teams, but in how he has shaped the entire playing department to ensure that there is a legacy of success that will last for years to come.”

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