Mallinder hoping Hartley will be fit for Saints’ run-in

Dylan Hartley was stretchered off at Stade de France (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Dylan Hartley was stretchered off at Stade de France (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Jim Mallinder says he is ‘absolutely delighted’ for Dylan Hartley after the Saints hooker skippered England to the Grand Slam.

And Mallinder is now hoping he gets his player back injury-free ahead of a testing Aviva Premiership run-in.

Hartley led England to five wins from as many matches in the Six Nations, lifting the trophy in Paris on Saturday night.

But he was stretchered off during the win against France, having suffered a head injury.

Hartley eventually returned to the field after the game to give a final speech to his team-mates and to pick up the silverware.

And Mallinder said: “I received a text back early this morning (Sunday) from him and I’ve seen a few pictures of him looking fit and well.

“We’ll go through the fitness protocols and let’s see where he is.”

And on Hartley’s achievements, Mallinder said: “It was a very proud moment and it justified our faith in Dylan and what he’s done for the club over the past few years.

“He’s a proper leader. He’s had some criticism during the past but he’s come through and shown what a fantastic captain he can be.

“I’m absolutely delighted for him.”