Jim Mallinder has backed Dylan Hartley to keep getting better after the hooker returned from injury in Sunday’s win against Glasgow Warriors.
Hartley had missed the trip to Leicester eight days earlier after picking up a rib injury that led to his late withdrawal from the squad.
But he started in the 19-15 Champions Cup success at Franklin’s Gardens last weekend.
And Mallinder said: “It was tough for him.
“When we went up to Glasgow we got real dominance in the scrum, but we never really achieved that on Sunday.
“It was good for Dylan to get back, he got 50-odd minutes, and he’ll get better every game he plays.
“It’s hard to put a timescale on it (when he will reach his best form), but he was solid on Sunday.
“His set piece was good and he will just keep getting better.”