Mallinder keen to keep Bruce
'Contract discussions coming up', according to Saints boss
Last Updated: 08/10/09 3:03pm
Reihana: Popular figure
Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder insists he will do all he can to keep in-form wing Bruce Reihana at Franklin's Gardens.
"He is in his last year, but we are hopeful that Bruce will want to stay with the club. He has been outstanding for us this year. "
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The 33-year-old former Saints skipper is in the last year of his contract and rumours have been circulating that he is looking to finish his career in France.
However, a scintillating start to the Guinness Premiership season has prompted calls from Saints fans for the winger's contract to be renewed as soon as possible.
Mallinder told the Northampton Chronicle: "There will be discussions coming up over extending his contract.
"He is in his last year, but we are hopeful that Bruce will want to stay with the club. He has been outstanding for us this year.
"He has played all the games on the wing, whereas last season and the season before he was mainly at full-back, but it has not affected his performance.
"He has been top notch in attack and defence. I think just the enthusiasm he brings is just outstanding."
Reihana will clash with fellow former All Black Doug Howlett in Saturday's testing Heineken Cup opener with Munster, in what is a repeat of the 2000 final.
The utility back joined Saints in 2002 and Mallinder is hoping his loyalty to Northampton will keep him at the club.
"We have got lots of different nationalities here," said Mallinder. "But Bruce has been around Northampton long enough and he is a Northamptonian now. He is great for the squad and an inspiration for the younger players."
Meanwhile, Saints academy manager Rob Hunter is leaving the club to take up a coaching role with the RFU national academy in December.