Northampton head coach Jim Mallinder has insisted that no decision has yet been made on the future of JJ Hanrahan, amidst reports that he's set to rejoin Munster at the end of his current deal next summer.
Earlier this week, Cian Treacy of the Irish Independent reported that the former IRB Junior Player of the Year nominee would rejoin his home province after two seasons at the Saints. Hanrahan made 23 appearances for the Premiership club last season but injuries and the emergence of Mallinder's son, Harry, in the out-half position has seen him struggle for gametime - the sole reason for his Munster departure in the first place.
At Wednesday's media session, Jim Mallinder was asked if there was truth to reports in Ireland that Kerry's Hanrahan was set to return home. The Saints head coach certainly didn't totally deny the Independent's report, but suggested nothing was as of yet concrete:
There’s nothing confirmed there. We’re still talking with him and a number of other members of our squad in terms of what we and they want to do.
When asked whether the fact Saints are currently out of the Aviva Premiership top six, which guarantees Champions Cup qualification, would affect Hanrahan’s decision making, Mallinder said:
I’m not sure how long it will take [for him to decide].
The Northants Telegraph, from where the above quotes originate, described the Tralee 10 as "one of the few positives for Saints in last Friday’s 37-10 Champions Cup defeat to Leinster at Franklin’s Gardens."
They also report that the 24-year-old should be fit to face Leinster in Dublin, despite initial concerns when he was forced off with an ankle injury on Friday night.