Jim Mallinder is to leave his post with the England set-up to become Scotland’s new director of .

He replaces Scott Johnson who returned to his native this summer to take a similar role with the Wallabies.

Mallinder took charge of England’s young player pathway system in June 2018 having had spells as head coach of Sale Sharks and Northampton Saints.

He left Northampton in December 2017 after a 10-year reign that included English Premiership and an glory.

Mallinder, capped twice by England, led Sale to an Challenge Cup success in 2002 in his first coaching role before steering England Under-21s to the Six Nations title four years later.

He guided Northampton to promotion to England’s top flight, winning the title in 2014, and the club also reached the 2011 an Cup final and won the an Challenge Cup and Anglo-Welsh Cup during his time in charge.

‘It looks a very good appointment’

BBC Scotland chief sports writer Tom English

He’s very experienced. It looks like a very good appointment. He has an excellent track record in coaching at Sale and Northampton, where he won a Premiership title.

He has been a director of before, so he knows the job. He was mentioned as a possible successor to [England head coach] , so this will be seen as a bit of a blow for the RFU that he’s leaving.

It could be considered a coup for Scottish but we’ll wait and see.

‘England facing age-grade coaching crisis’

BBC union correspondent

Mallinder’s departure leaves the RFU facing an age-grade coaching crisis.

The RFU’s head of international player development Dean Ryan and Under-20s head coach Steve Bates have also quit their roles in recent months.

And long-standing Under-18s coaches John Fletcher and Peter Walton were sacked by Ryan last June.

It leaves RFU bosses desperately needing to establish a completely fresh coaching set-up to support the senior side and help develop players through the age-groups.

Chief executive Bill Sweeney has already stated his intention for to continue as head coach after the forthcoming World Cup even if England don’t reach the semi-finals.


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