Wood happy to see Hartley stay on as Saints skipper

FULL BACKING - Tom Wood believes Dylan Hartley is the right choice as Saints skipper (picture by Linda Dawson)

FULL BACKING - Tom Wood believes Dylan Hartley is the right choice as Saints skipper (picture by Linda Dawson)

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Tom Wood has backed the decision to retain Dylan Hartley as Saints captain.

Hartley was confirmed as skipper for the forthcoming season, which will be his fifth consecutive campaign in the role.

Doubts had been raised about the hooker’s position after his sending off in the Aviva Premiership final in May, but Jim Mallinder has maintained faith in the 27-year-old.

And Wood, who captained England on their summer tour of Argentina, believes Hartley is the right choice.

He said: “Dylan’s our leader here at Northampton, he has been for a long time. He’s a man who leads by example and you can see the faith the players and coaches have got in him.

“He’s the first to put his head on the block when a big tackle needs making, when the team’s stalling and you need someone to carry the ball in heavy traffic.

“He’s a real buzz around the camp and he brings a lot of energy to training on a daily basis. That’s what we all follow, that’s why he’s our captain and I can perfectly understand why the coaches have gone for him again.”