NORTHAMPTON Saints boss Jim Mallinder has moved to allay fears hooker Dylan Hartley will be the latest England forward to be ruled out of the autumn internationals.
A back injury forced Hartley to miss Northampton’s weekend clash with London Irish, although Mallinder expects the 28-year-old to in contention for Saturday’ match with Sale, along with Tom Wood.
The news will trigger relief for England coach Stuart Lancaster who is already without Ben Youngs for the entire autumn programme.
“He’s got a sore back, he did it passing the ball from the base of the scrum so it wasn’t a contact injury,” said Mallinder.
England’s former defensive guru Mike Ford, now head coach at Bath, has urged Lancaster to adopt an attacking mindset in a bid to topple the world’s best.
“Unless you consistently score 25 points you aren’t going to win the big things,” he said. “You have to be like England when they won the World Cup in 2003 and be able to score points from anywhere.”