Northampton still support Hartley

Date published: May 28 2015

Northampton Saints chairman Tony Hewitt has stressed that banned hooker Dylan Hartley still has the club's support.

Hartley was suspended for four weeks on Wednesday, putting his World Cup spot with England into doubt.

Despite a chequered history with discipline however Hewitt said the club would continue to support him.

“We’ll continue to support Dylan. What a lot of people don’t see if the good work Dylan does with the squad off the pitch, he’s very good at the team-building aspect," Hewitt told the Northampton Chronicle and Echo.

“He also does a number of charity commitments, he’s very good like that. You often get this dilemma of Dylan being a totally different person off the pitch.

“As regards to his England position, that’s totally down to Stuart Lancaster. Stuart will make that decision, taking it account everything.

“Here at Northampton we will continue to support Dylan.”

Hewitt also rejected any ideas that Hartley may lose the club captaincy.

“We obviously talk about it with Jim (Mallinder) and at board level, but we’ve stood by Dylan and we’ll continue to stand by him because he’s been a very good player for Northampton," added Hewitt.

“You also can’t overlook the fact he’s had more than 60 caps for England, so he’s a very senior player.

“If you look back on history, players like Martin Johnson weren’t angels either so in the new era it would have been very difficult for players like that.”