Jim Mallinder hopes to have Luther Burrell back next week after injury
Jim Mallinder hopes to have England centre Luther Burrell back next week after he was forced to pull out of Northampton's 26-11 win over Sale because of injury.
The Northampton director of rugby revealed Burrell aggravated a thigh injury training with the England squad and could not shake it off in time despite being named in the side on Friday.
His replacement Harry Mallinder was part of a Northampton fightback that saw them come from 11-0 down to register 26 unanswered points and score four tries through Mike Haywood, Ken Pisi, Tom Collins and JJ Hanrahan.
Jim Mallinder said: "Luther has a bit of a quad strain, he has had it for a few weeks and to be honest he was with England training this week where he made it a little bit worse. We were hopeful he would come through. I had to make a late change there, but thankfully Harry came in and played okay.
"It is not a massive injury and hopefully Luther will be back training next week."
In the second half Jim Mallinder said Northampton sorted out the ruck area to finally get some quick ball to play with after a tepid first 40 minutes.
"Sale are a hard team to beat," he added. "They have had some good wins, so we are pleased. We had to work hard in the first half, it was good we scored just before half-time to bring us back a little, but then in the second half we played pretty well and dominated.
"Our set-piece was good and we played some nice attacking rugby. Our carrying was effective, we got our latches on early because they do have some good lads that get over the ball and they were slowing us down. I think that was key in the second half. In the first half they slowed us down but in the second half we managed to get some quick ball and we managed to move it away."
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond was left frustrated by his side's subsidence and at an alleged knock-on in the build-up to Haywood's all-important try just before half-time.
Diamond may also face some questioning from Premiership officials after making six changes to the side he announced on Friday.
When asked about the late changes he said: "We had quite a few injuries. Why would I hear about that? I can announce the team an hour before kick-off - don't make something big out of that."
There were suggestions from the Sale camp that Lee Dickson knocked-on just before Haywood burrowed over three minutes before the break for Northampton's first try.
And Diamond was obviously frustrated it was not looked at by the TMO, saying: "We have got fantastic match officials who can see that on the video, but obviously not."
He added: "Sides like Northampton have super squads; we don't have a super squad. We have two call-ups into Russia and Moldova for two of our pack stalwarts and that was noticeable, Northampton got the ascendancy in the scrum in the second half."