Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley believes he is “coming of age” after his solid performances during the November international series.
England and Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley believes he is “coming of age” after his solid performances during the November internationals.
The 27-year-old, who is captain of the Saints, has bounced back from his red card against Leicester in last season's Premiership final at Twickenham.
“I think I'm coming of age. I heard a hooker's prime is 29, 30 years old,” he told BBC Radio Northampton ahead of their clash at Worcester.
“I'm enjoying it. I like my role at the club and I love being captain.
“I love being part of a good group of people,” added the 50 cap international forward.
“It's a group striving to win trophies and turn up every day and train hard.
“Certainly in the England setup it's very much a mirror image of what we've got here.”
Northampton Saints are currently in much better shape than last year when they went on a dismal run of five losses in seven matches, with Hartley pleased with their solid form.
“This time last year we lost a lot of games. The squad wasn't as united as we are now but we still made a Premiership final,” said the hooker.
“This year we have the right talent, the right coaching setup. Everything's perfect. So there's no excuses for us not to perform.”