Saints boss rues England spotlight
Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder believes his link with the England job last season hampered his club's Heineken Cup campaign.
Saints suffered defeats at the hands of both Scarlets and Munster during the spell when Mallinder was linked with the vacant role at Twickenham, after the departure of Martin Johnson.
Ultimately it was experienced club coach Stuart Lancaster who was given the job on an interim basis, before impressing the RFU to take up the role full-time.
However, Mallinder has admitted the period of uncertainty had a negative effect on the squad at Franklin's Gardens last term.
He told the Telegraph: "It is never good when that is what people are talking about. It should be about the rugby, the club and winning games. Sometimes, you can just lose focus.
"I was honoured to be spoken about in terms of the England job but I knew that I had a really important job here. I still have and I am happy. This is the place where I want to do something."