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Page last updated at 18:51 GMT, Thursday, 16 December 2010

Jim Mallinder backs Saints' Stephen Myler for England

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Mallinder expects Geraghty patience

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder says fly-half Stephen Myler should be considered for England.

The 26-year-old, who won the Churchill Cup in June with the Saxons, has scored 111 points for Saints this season.

Mallinder told BBC Look East: "I think he has the potential to get into a World Cup squad, without a doubt.

"He's been playing some really good rugby and probably some of the best rugby of his career. There aren't many English fly-halves doing that."

Myler faces competition from Toby Flood, Jonny Wilkinson and Charlie Hodgson for the fly-half berth at the 2011 World Cup.

"We want fly-halves to control the game, and to have a sound kicking game from hand and from the ground," said Mallinder, whose side are six points clear at the top of the Premiership.

Shane Geraghty wants to play, but he's one of a number of players in that position

Jim Mallinder

"He's got to be good in attack, with good distribution, and attack the line at the right rimes, and be strong in defence.

"At the weekend [against Cardiff Blues], we saw Stephen doing all those jobs really well."

Mallinder admits Myler's form has helped make it a frustrating time for Shane Geraghty, who finds himself second choice at Saints at present.

"He wants to play, but he's one of a number of players in that position," Mallinder said of Geraghty, 24, who has six international caps for England.

"Joe Ansbro was playing for Scotland [in the autumn internationals] but he was on the bench last week.

"There will be some people happy to be here and part of a winning team, and some who want to playing every week.

"I know Shane Geraghty is happy here at the moment, and he's determined to get in the team. He has to keep practising and when he's got that opportunity, he's got to make sure he sparkles, and then he's got a chance of starting."



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see also
Northampton 23-15 Cardiff Blues
11 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union
Saints' Myler 'trusts in ability'
13 Dec 10 |  Northampton
Saxons coach praises Saints trio
28 Jun 10 |  Northampton
Saxons seal Churchill final win
19 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union


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