By Ali Stokes
Northampton Saints have named England captain Dylan Hartley club co-captain alongside fellow frontrow Alex Waller.
After missing a significant portion of the 2017/18 season with ongoing concussion issues, Hartley will relinquish part of his club captaincy duties and share them with Waller as he fights to maintain his spot for the international side and lead them towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
With England Head Coach Eddie Jones preparing his side for the World Cup year, with the aspiration of lifting the trophy, Hartley will no doubt find himself more engrossed than ever before with his national duties.
“To keep Dylan in a leadership role was an obvious choice for me,” Said newly arrives Saints Director of Rugby Chris Boyd. “He’s hugely respected by everyone here at Saints and has led the Club brilliantly for several years now.
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“We were, however, aware that the Club could be without a captain for large chunks of the season while Dylan is away on England duty, so naming Alex as co-captain was the obvious next step.
“Alex is a pivotal figure here at Franklin’s Gardens. His leadership skills are clear to see, and he boasts an intimate knowledge of this Club having spent the entirety of his nine senior seasons here.
“Dylan and Alex have worked together for a number of years and I’m sure they will continue to build on their partnership in this new set-up.”
Northampton have also confirmed their playing and coaching squad ahead of the Gallagher Premiership season, with a 54-man squad named earlier today.
Director of Rugby: Chris Boyd
Defence: Alan Dickens
Attack: Sam Vesty
Forwards: Phil Dowson
Assistant coach (scrum): Matt Ferguson
Players (* senior academy, ** temporary injury cover)
Dylan Hartley (co-captain 2018/19)
Alex Waller (co-captain 2018/19)
Francois van Wyk
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