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Jim Mallinder praises Ben Foden’s Northampton Saints double-hundred

Jim Mallinder praises Ben Foden’s Northampton Saints double-hundred

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder has praised Ben Foden’s contribution at Franklin’s Gardens over the past eight years.

Foden will make his 200th appearance in a Saints shirt as the team travel to Worcester Warriors as the Aviva Premiership resumes.

The full back was already a Premiership winner when he arrived at Franklin’s Gardens in 2008, having lifted the trophy with Sale Sharks in 2006, the club where he began his professional career in 2004.

Foden becomes a double-centurion against the same team who were the opposition when he made his debut in September 2008, coming off the bench as Saints collected a 21-13 win.

In his first season at Saints, Foden helped the club secure the 2009 European Challenge Cup and the full back played a major role in Saints’ double cup-winning campaign of 2014, scoring a try in the Aviva Premiership final against Saracens and becoming only the second player to score in two successive Aviva Premiership finals.

Foden represented England through the age groups before turning out for England Saxons in the 2008 Churchill Cup. Making his full England debut as replacement scrum-half in the 2009 Six Nations against Italy at Twickenham, he has since has collected 34 caps for his country.

Foden will be just the 55th player in the 135-year history of the Saints to hit 200 appearances, joining Stephen Myler, Dylan Hartley and Lee Dickson in the current squad to reach the milestone.

“To see Fodes get his 200 is really pleasing,” Mallinder commented. “We’ve got a number of players at that stage of their careers at Saints and that experience is invaluable to us.

“It’s the experience of Ben and the other senior players that has underpinned our success as a club and allows us to bring younger players in with confidence knowing these guys will show them the way. They’ve built a strong culture within the playing squad, which is also important.

“Seeing Ben develop over the years from being a player with potential to one of the best in his position in the country has been really pleasing. To see him work hard for the club and pick up 200 appearances since joining us is massively satisfying and something we’re all immensely proud of.”

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