Harry Mallinder says full-back is his preferred position despite wearing the number 10 shirt for Northampton Saints so far this season.The 21-year-old has been playing at fly-half because of injuries to Stephen Myler and Piers Francis.Mallinder has kicked 32 points in four Premiership games.
“I really enjoy playing 12, I love playing 10, I love playing full-back – but full-back would just edge it,” he told BBC Radio Northampton.A product of the Saints academy, Mallinder made his first-team debut as teenager during the 2014-15 season and has primarily appeared at centre or full-back.But he showed his versatility with three fly-half appearances at the end of last season, including the Champions Cup play-off final win over Stade Francais.And he was needed there again as Saints began the current campaign with a heavy defeat by Saracens.”The nature and physicality of the game we play, injuries happen,” he added. “I went into pre-season playing a bit of full-back, a bit of centre, but unfortunately we lost Stephen and Piers.”It makes your job a lot easier when you’ve got such good players around you. The first week wasn’t the best but since then as a team we’ve played quite well.”Northampton have bounced back from the loss against Saracens with three successive wins and they will look to make it four against Harlequins this weekend.Mallinder admitted securing the full-back role would not be straightforward because of competition from other players, but he believes it suits his skills-set.”I think my preference is to play at full-back. I’ve really enjoyed it when I’ve had little snippets here and there, but at the same time we’ve got such good full-backs, I’m happy to play wherever I’m picked,” he said.”Playing full-back I would look to play a similar role to how I’d play the game at 12 and come into the line at second receiver and get my hands on the ball. “There’s a bit more space and the ability to see the game from behind, and use my skills to my advantage.”
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