Jim Mallinder

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David James Mallinder
Birth name David James Mallinder
Date of birth (1966-03-16) 16 March 1966 (age 52)
Place of birth Halifax, Yorkshire
Occupation(s) Director of Rugby
Rugby union career
Position(s) Coach
Current team No Current Team
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Old Crossleyans
Sale Sharks
Teams coached
Years Team
Sale Sharks
England Academy
England Saxons
Northampton Saints

David James Mallinder was the coach of Northampton Saints and the former head coach of Sale Sharks, England Under 21s and England Saxons.


In his playing days, Mallinder was a fullback at Sale Sharks, where he stayed for 15 years as a player and a coach. He was formerly a P.E and Mathematics teacher at William Hulme's Grammar School in Manchester before the game turned professional.

When he retired from playing in 2001, after nearly 400 games for Sale and two England caps, he was appointed as the Sharks' head coach. In his first season, he took the Sharks from 11th to 2nd in the Premiership and their first Heineken Cup qualification. In 2002 he led Sale to the Parker Pen Shield, now the European Challenge Cup, and their first silverware.

In 2004 Mallinder left Sale to take up a post in the RFU's National Academy. There he worked with Brian Ashton and Dorian West, he still works with Dorian now in his capacity as forwards coach at the saints, as he masterminded the England Under 21s into winning the Under 21s' version of the Six Nations in 2006 with a clean sweep of five wins out of five. He was also named by UK Sport in their prestigious Elite Coach scheme.[1]

He was subsequently handed the reins of the England Saxons, where he had an impressive record of 15 wins from 16 matches. His last match in charge saw the Saxons defeat the New Zealand Maori at Twickenham to win the Churchill Cup.

In June 2007, Mallinder took up the post of head coach at the recently relegated Northampton Saints. In his first year there, he led the Saints straight back to the Guinness Premiership with an undefeated "perfect" season.[2] On 25 June 2008, he signed a new 3-year contract to remain at Franklin's Gardens until at least the end of the 2010/11 season.[3]

In preparation for the 2008–09 season, Mallinder raided his former club Sale Sharks, signing Ben Foden, Chris Mayor, Christian Day and Ignacio Fernández Lobbe where they joined other former Sale colleagues, Barry Stewart and Nick Johnson.

In addition Mallinder brought players like Roger Wilson and Neil Best to the Saints from Ulster, and the squad he put together achieved a creditable eighth position in their first year back in Premiership Rugby. The Saints also reached the semi-finals of the Anglo-Welsh Cup – where they were beaten by eventual champions Cardiff Blues – but the team really shone in the European Challenge Cup. An unbeaten pool campaign brought home advantage in the knockout stages, and after beating Connacht and Saracens the Saints defeated Bourgoin at the Twickenham Stoop to lift their first piece of major silverware in a decade and secure a place in the Heineken Cup in the process.

The 2009/10 season was another campaign of progression for the Saints, who won their first major domestic trophy, the Anglo-Welsh Cup, by beating Gloucester at Worcester's Sixways Stadium. In Premiership Rugby the Saints won more league games than anyone else to finish second in the table, but were beaten with just a few minutes of the semi-final remaining. In the Heineken Cup the Saints reached the quarter finals, when they pushed Munster all the way at Thomond Park.

2010/11 saw Mallinder become the first coach to guide a team unbeaten through the Heineken Cup pool stages and all the way to the final. At the Millennium Stadium the Saints put in their best first half performance in many years, but were pegged back by Leinster and eventually lost the game.

Mallinder saw his side become losing Aviva Premiership finalists in the 2012/13 season after a loss to East Midlands rivals Leicester Tigers at Twickenham. However the following season Northampton became Premiership champions for the first time after defeating Saracens in extra time to clinch the 2013/14 season trophy.[4] This followed success in the Amlin Challenge Cup final against Bath Rugby the previous week;[5] representing an historic double trophy winning season for the club.

On Monday June 2, 2014, it was announced that Mallinder had signed a new five-year contract, keeping him at Northampton until 2019.[6]

Northampton Saints suffered a series of heavy defeats in the 2017/18 Season, their run during October, November and December 2017 saw them win 1 game from 10 in all competitions. As a result of this run poor run of form, including a heavy defeat to massively depleted Ospreys side[7], Mallinder was sacked at the Director of Rugby on 12th December 2017, with Attack Coach Alan Dickens taking on the role of head coach in the interim term.[8]


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