Northampton Saints: Alan Gaffney takes interim charge after Jim Mallinder sacking

Alan Gaffney was formerly Saracens director of rugby between 2006 and 2008
Alan Gaffney was Saracens director of rugby between 2006 and 2008

Northampton Saints have appointed Alan Gaffney as interim director of rugby until the end of the season.

The 71-year-old Australian will act as technical coaching consultant after the sacking of Jim Mallinder in December.

He will work alongside acting head coach Alan Dickens, forwards coach Dorian West, defence coach Phil Dowson and assistant coach Mark Hopley.

"I am really excited about the challenge ahead," former Saracens director of rugby Gaffney said.

"Any coach would jump at the chance to work with the calibre of players Saints have," he added.

"The squad have shown what they're capable of earlier in the season but, for whatever reason, they have not been able to perform at that level consistently."

Saints travel to Twickenham on Saturday to face Harlequins in the Premiership, but Gaffney will officially start in the role on New Year's Day.

Northampton are 10th in the Premiership with just four wins from their first 11 matches this season.

As well as two years at Saracens as director of rugby, Gaffney has extensive experience in Irish rugby union working with Munster, Leinster and the Ireland squads between 2000 and 2011.

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