By Ali Stokes
Former Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder has been appointed as the RFU's Pathway Performance Coach.
The former England international spent over a decade with Northampton before his mid-season sacking earlier this year following an abhorrent run of form for the Saints. After rumours linking Mallinder to new roles with Cardiff Blues and Harlequins, the father of current Northampton utility back, Harry, will take a behind the scenes role working under former Worcester Director of Rugby, Dean Ryan.
The RFU have also confirmed the departure of long-serving pathway coaches John Fletcher and Peter Walton.
The pair have been with the RFU for 10 years in a variety of senior pathway coaching roles, playing a crucial part in the development of many players at different levels of the game.
Dean Ryan, head of international player development, said: "I’d like to pay tribute to the huge role John Fletcher and Peter Walton have played in the development of many of our leading England internationals, and to their innovative and passionate commitment to finding and coaching young players at every level.
"Fletch and Walts have first-class reputations within the game, and I know they will both go on to new exciting roles outside the RFU. They leave with our very best wishes.
"I would like to thank them for their very significant contribution to English Rugby, and wish them all the very best for their next chapter."
Jim Mallinder, pathway performance coach, said: “I’m excited about the opportunity to join England Rugby and to work in the pathway helping guide the future stars of the game.
“It’s great to be returning to the RFU having held previous roles both in the pathway and with the Saxons.
“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.”
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