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England duo impress Mallinder

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder declared England duo Ben Foden and Luther Burrell put themselves in contention to face Australia after spearheading a 41-20 rout of Saracens.

Saints ran in six tries to inflict a second successive defeat on the Aviva Premiership leaders, who collapsed to their worst loss in four-and-a-half years.

Foden crossed twice and Burrell once and both were superb at Franklin's Gardens, prompting Mallinder to claim England head coach Stuart Lancaster must be considering them for next Saturday's opener against the Wallabies.

"Ben's trying-saving tackle on Alex Goode in the first half was very important and I'd like him to be involved in the 23 against Australia," Mallinder said.

"He's been getting back to his best and had a good game against Saracens.

"Luther just continues to improve - he's getting better with every single game and plays with a big smile on his face. He's loving playing every week.

"He's playing with confidence and I'm sure Stuart Lancaster will be looking at him."

Man of the match Samu Manoa fully deserved his first-half try, while Jamie Elliott and Ken Pisi also crossed in a match played without 10 England internationals.

"To score 40-odd points against Saracens is pleasing," Mallinder said.

"You never quite know beforehand how teams will react to having players missing, but it was pleasing for us that it was such a good squad effort.

"Our pack played well, our set piece was good and we combined that by moving the ball at the right time. We were clinical with some of our tries."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall watched grimly from the stands as his Premiership leaders were put to the sword after leaking six tries.

Repeatedly demolished at the scrum and feeble in defence, the early-season pacesetters collapsed to a second-successive defeat following last weekend's loss to Toulouse.

"They were outstanding. When you come down here you have to get the foundations of your game right and their set piece was well on top," McCall said.

"All the pressure they exerted came from there. Our set piece was poor and they scored too easily. We made a lot of individual areas which proved costly.

"This team hasn't lost two games in a row all that often, although it has happened in the last couple of years

"The two performances have been very different - we could have won against Toulouse in a high standard performance in a close game.

"But we were beaten in every way by a Saints team that was red hot, although we didn't help ourselves. They were much better than us today."


From Belfast Telegraph