>> Mallinder for Ul­ster, Ospreys?

The Rugby Paper - - Front Page -

JIM MALLINDER is in ad­vanced talks to be­come Ul­ster’s new di­rec­tor of rugby – but they might still need to hold off a late ad­vance from the Ospreys to land him. Mallinder has been look­ing for an­other job since be­ing sacked by Northamp­ton in De­cem­ber and had been a tar­get for Cardiff Blues. The 52-yearold York­shire­man turned down the chance of a re­turn to the game in the Welsh cap­i­tal and the Blues have since ap­pointed John Mul­vi­hill. Ul­ster have been look­ing for a new coach since Les Kiss, who is now work­ing for Lon­don Ir­ish, left the prov­ince ear­lier in the year. Jono Gibbs, in charge of the prov­ince un­til the end of the sea­son, will be head­ing back to New Zealand in the sum­mer. Blind­side un­der­stands that Mallinder, who helped the Saints win a Pre­mier­ship ti­tle and reach a Heineken Cup Fi­nal, will link up with Do­rian West in Belfast. West, his side­kick at Franklin’s Gar­dens for a decade, re­cently an­nounced he would leave the Saints ahead of the ar­rival of Kiwi Chris Boyd.

West had been linked with both New­cas­tle Fal­cons and Le­ices­ter Tigers but looks ready to cross the Ir­ish Sea if Mallinder clinched a deal with Ul­ster.

The Ospreys are look­ing to ap­point a suc­ces­sor to Steve Tandy and have Mallinder on their wanted list as well as Allen Clarke who is in tem­po­rary charge of the team.

Clarke has im­pressed dur­ing his spell in the Lib­erty Sta­dium hot seat and is be­ing backed to do the job on a per­ma­nent ba­sis in many quar­ters.

Wanted man: Jim Mallinder

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