Dylan Hartley named as Northampton captain for the new season
Last Updated: 08/08/13 3:32pm
Dylan Hartley: The hooker was sent off in the Premiership final defeat to Leicester
Dylan Hartley has been confirmed as Northampton Saints captain for the new season.
Hartley was sent off in the Premiership final defeat to Leicester for verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes.
The incident cost him a place on the British and Irish Lions tour and an 11-week ban, but the England hooker is available for the first game of the season against Exeter on September 7.
Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder has backed Hartley insisting he has learned from the incident and has the full respect of the players.
"A massive amount of that work is done behind the scenes during the week, and Dylan's attitude and desire has won him the respect of the rest of the players as well as the back-room staff."
"Dylan has matured a great deal over the past few years and is now an excellent club captain," he said.
"A massive amount of that work is done behind the scenes during the week, and Dylan's attitude and desire has won him the respect of the rest of the players as well as the back-room staff.
"Of course we're aware that the events of May's Aviva Premiership final will mean that there will be a lot of attention on Dylan this season. He has learned from what happened at Twickenham and knows what is expected of him in the coming season.
"We certainly believe that he has the temperament to do well under the pressure, and will continue to improve as a player and as a leader."
Hartley, who has led Northampton for the last four years, was named in the
England squad earlier this month after giving head coach Stuart Lancaster assurances over his future conduct.