Northampton Saints have announced Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder is leaving the club with immediate effect. Attack coach Alan Dickens is taking over the reins for the time being.
The club has released the following statement:
Northampton Saints can confirm that director of rugby Jim Mallinder will be leaving his position at the club with immediate effect.
Having taken the reins at Franklin’s Gardens in 2007, Mallinder was the longest-serving director of rugby in the Aviva Premiership, but due to the recent string of results the Saints board agreed that a change in management was in the best interest of the club.
“Jim has been an outstanding director of rugby. We have been very lucky to have him at Franklin’s Gardens and he will always be a part of the Saints family,” said John White, Northampton Saints Chairman.
“This is not a decision that has been taken lightly, but the board and major shareholders felt that the time was right for some change.”
Alan Dickens, the club’s attack coach, will take over in the short-term position of interim head coach until a replacement is found for Mallinder.
Mallinder clinched trophies in each of his first three seasons at Franklin’s Gardens, initially winning a National League One and National Trophy double before securing the European Challenge Cup and the LV= Cup in the seasons that followed.
That success paved the way for a run all the way to the Heineken Cup final in 2011, where Saints came within a whisker of claiming the European crown. But Mallinder’s greatest success was still to come as Northampton lifted the Aviva Premiership trophy in 2014 having fallen just short in the final the previous year.
“Jim has done a superb job as Northampton Saints’ director of rugby over the last decade, and the amount of silverware the club has won during his tenure speaks for itself. We thank Jim for all he has done at Franklin’s Gardens,” commented Mark Darbon, Northampton Saints CEO.
“We will now begin an extensive search to find a world-class director of rugby to replace Jim.
“Whilst that search is underway, we will look to bolster our existing coaching group with some additional leadership and experience on a short-term basis for this season.
“Alan Dickens will oversee rugby and coaching matters on temporary basis as interim head coach.”