Saints star Hartley doesn’t remember lifting Six Nations trophy

Dylan Hartley skippered England to the Grand Slam (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Dylan Hartley skippered England to the Grand Slam (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Saints star Dylan Hartley admits he can’t remember lifting the Six Nations trophy in Paris on Saturday night.

Hartley was knocked unconscious after taking a knee to the head in a tackle during the second half of the 31-21 victory at the Stade de France.

The England skipper was stretchered off but returned to the field after the game to give a final team talk and to hold the silverware aloft.

But Hartley has admitted that he does not remember any of it.

“It’s a great feeling to say you’re a Grand Slam winner... I just wish I could remember lifting that trophy in Paris!” he wrote in his column in The Sun.

“After being knocked out and taken off on a stretcher I can’t remember any celebrations.

“I can’t remember the trophy presentation, the victory lap or seeing my aunty and uncle in the crowd.

“It’s a weird feeling so I’ve been looking at a lot of photos to piece it all together and there are bits coming back to me.

“When I came round on the pitch, I tried to convince the medical staff that I was fine and hadn’t been knocked out but they were quite rightly having none of it.

“Owen Farrell came over and asked if I was fine but he also told me: ‘You’ve been knocked out mate — you’ve gotta go off and get looked after’.

“It would have been obscene for me to carry on and having seen the video back it was pretty clear I was sparked straight out.

“Thanks to the ref Nigel Owens, too, for being there and blowing the whistle straight away. The medical attention I got was also pretty swift.

“Huge thanks to all of those guys and I’m feeling much better now and will go through all the head assessment protocols at Northampton this week.”

Hartley and Jim Mallinder exchanged text messages on Sunday morning, with the Saints boss keen to find out how his player was.

And Hartley was just happy to have completed the job of securing England’s first Six Nations title since 2011 and their first Grand Slam since 2003.

He added: “One thing is for sure — even if some of the memories are a bit blurry at the moment — I can fully appreciate what we have achieved because it has taken so long to do this.

“It’s a huge honour to be England’s 10th Grand Slam skipper and become only the 13th side in history to do this.

“But the credit has to go to the whole squad.

“The guidance from the coaches has also been brilliant over these last two months where we have all made some huge sacrifices to achieve our goal. It was a great feeling waking up next to the trophy in the French capital on Sunday morning — even though it did stink of beer!

“Because of what happened, Saturday night was obviously pretty quiet for me.

“The docs took care of me and I had two bottles of water back at the hotel with the management. The rest of the lads went out and enjoyed the celebrations in Paris.

“I know people think you have to celebrate by going out all night but it was nice to sit there and look back on the achievement.

“The next morning my head was still a bit sore but I think a few of the others might have felt worse than me.

“Having watched the game back, we have to give credit to France as they were pretty dangerous.”