Jim Mallinder leaves England role to become Scotland performance director

Jim Mallinder will join the Scottish Rugby Union as its new performance director. The 53-year-old had been working with the Rugby Football Union on youth development, but has now accepted a role north of the border.

“I’m sad to be leaving the RFU as I’ve really enjoyed my time here, in particular getting to work with some fantastic people in a wide range of roles within the men’s pathway,” Mallinder said on the RFU’s website. “I will miss working with them all but this was an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse.”

Mallinder joined the England set-up in the summer of 2018 after spells in charge of Sale and Northampton. He spent over a decade with the Saints, leading them back to the Premiership in 2008 and securing the European Challenge Cup the following year.

In 2014 the club won a Premiership and Challenge Cup double and Mallinder signed a new five-year deal with the midlands club, but was sacked in December 2017 after a poor run of results.

He had been considered as a candidate to step up to the position of England head coach. Current incumbent Eddie Jones is due to stand down in 2021, with the RFU keen to appoint a successor who can work alongside Jones initially in 2020.

The RFU’s Professional Rugby Director, Nigel Melville, said: “I’d like to thank Jim for all the work he’s done within the player pathway over the past year and, on behalf of everyone at the RFU, wish him all the best for his new role with Scottish Rugby.”

Mallinder will lead Scottish Rugby’s performance department, developing players to feed into Scotland’s two professional teams, Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors, as well as Scotland 7s, Scotland Women and the Scotland men’s national team.

“This is an exciting role and one that gives me the chance to work with players at different stages of their development, all with the clear objective to make Scotland’s representative teams more successful and deliver a clear pathway for players to progress through,” Mallinder said on Scottish Rugby’s website.

“I am really impressed with the set-up in Scotland already and having spoken at length with [Scottish Rugby chief executive] Mark Dodson it was clear that this was an outstanding opportunity to really set the direction of travel for Scotland’s high-performance ambitions.”

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