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Mallinder backs Hanrahan for big future

January 15, 2015 10:58:37 UK

Northampton Saints’ director of rugby Jim Mallinder is pleased with the signing of JJ Hanrahan and insists that the back can develop into an outstanding player.

The Midlands’ outfit have made a habit of making additions and turning them into top quality individuals, with the likes of George Pisi, Sam Dickinson and Samu Manoa all improving under the current set-up.

He’s not been playing quite as regularly as he wanted to out there this season and he wanted a change to hopefully develop his game.

Jim Mallinder

With Hanrahan in the same mould having been denied the chance of regular game time at Munster, Mallinder is looking to continue the trend of their previous incoming transfers.

“He’s a very good, exciting signing for us,” he said. “He’s a fly-half who’s played some big games for Munster. He’s not been playing quite as regularly as he wanted to out there this season and he wanted a change to hopefully develop his game.

“Stephen’s (Myler) playing fantastically well and he’s instrumental in a lot of our good play. Stephen’s there and a quality player, but what we do need is some strength in depth and this year we’ve had a number of players who have played in that position when Stephen’s not been available, so JJ Hanrahan will come in and be a real option for us.

“I think he can be an outstanding player long-term. Clearly, if you look at his history, he’s got a very good kicking record, very accurate from the boot, both from goal and out of hand.

“That’s a real strength, he’s also got a really nice attacking game. He’s very, very interested in how we play, how Northampton play, and when we’ve had him over, we’ve had some real deep chats in how we want to play the game with him.”

Saints can be backed at 2.87 to win the Aviva Premiership Grand Final this season, with Bath 3.50 and Leicester Tigers 6.50.

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