Tom Wood - Hartley right man for the captaincy
August 9, 2013
Tom Wood has backed Dylan Hartley to lead from the front for the Saints © PA Photos
Hartley has been retained as the Saints' skipper for the forthcoming campaign in what will be his fifth season in the role. But there were doubts over Hartley's suitability for the post after he was sent-off in the Aviva Premiership final for verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes.
He was subsequently handed an 11-week ban that ruled him out of the British & Irish Lions' tour to Australia having previously been selected for the trip Down Under. But despite his indiscretion, Wood, who skippered England on their tour of Argentina, said the players are behind Hartley and the hooker is the correct choice for the post.
"Dylan's our leader here at Northampton, he has been for a long time," Wood told the Northampton Chronicle. "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."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
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