England appoint Jim Mallinder to coaching development role

Former Northampton Saints coach Jim Mallinder has been appointed in a development role for England Rugby. David Rogers/Getty Images

England have appointed the former Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder to their coaching staff, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has confimed.

Mallinder, 52, was sacked by the Saints in December after becoming their longest-serving head coach during more than a decade in charge.

He will take up the role of pathway performance coach in the RFU's development programme.

The former England international coached the Saxons from 2006 to 2007 after helping the under-21s win the Six Nations.

"It's great to be returning to the RFU having held previous roles both in the pathway and with the Saxons," Mallinder said. "I'm a supporter of emerging talent and I've always tried to help develop young English players with their progression into senior rugby. I hope to continue that in my new role in the England pathway."

The RFU also announced coaches John Fletcher and Peter Walton will leave their roles in the pathway programme.

The pair had been in the organisation for more than 10 years in a variety of senior coaching roles.