Northampton boss Jim Mallinder praises Ryan Lamb

Jim drooling at fine Lamb as Saints fly-half presses England claims

Fine Lamb: The Saints fly-half was superb against Bath

Fine Lamb: The Saints fly-half was superb against Bath

Ryan Lamb could emerge as a contender at fly-half for England if he delivers more performances like the one which inspired Northampton to a 22-13 win over Bath on Saturday, according to Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

The former Gloucester and London Irish stand-off pulled the strings in expert fashion as the home side surged into a 22-3 half-time lead at Franklin’s Gardens, only to lose momentum after the break and fall short of a bonus point.

‘Bath had a world-class No 10 (All Black Stephen Donald) playing today and I thought Ryan was the better of the two,’ said Mallinder.

‘There was some sublime play from him. If he can do that and get consistency in his game, there is no reason why England should not look at him.

‘He’s had a great season for us, he’s keeping Stephen Myler out of the team. Stephen played so well towards the end of last season, so Ryan is doing something well to keep him out.’

Saints ran riot as Phil Dowson, Tom Wood and Jamie Elliott scored in a 20-minute spell.

On the up: Northampton have recovered from a poor start to the season

On the up: Northampton have recovered from a poor start to the season

In the second half, Bath finally crossed the line through Francois Louw when their opponents were down to 13 men, Samu Manoa and James Downey having been sin binned. It left the West Country club third from bottom of the Aviva Premiership, but director of rugby Ian McGeechan is not panicking.

‘You have ups and downs but the players’ attitude is excellent and we will see the benefits eventually.

‘We will have three or four players back from injury in the next two or three weeks.’