Hartley will come back 'hungry' for action at Saints

Dylan Hartley will miss the final two matches of the season (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Dylan Hartley will miss the final two matches of the season (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Alan Dickens feels Dylan Hartley will benefit from an extended rest period and says the skipper will return 'hungry' for Saints action at the start of next season.

Hartley will miss the final two matches of the current campaign and England's summer tour of South Africa as he continues to recover from concussion sustained during the Six Nations clash with Ireland on March 17.

He has already expressed his desire to hit the ground running next season and is looking forward to being back for pre-season at Saints.

And Dickens believes the current club captain will be even stronger for having some time off.

"It's a sensible decision," said Saints' interim head coach.

"We need to look after the players and the players also need to look after themselves.

"He's taken advice, he's listened to it and he will come back stronger than ever.

"I'm sure the break will benefit him.

"We always talk about player welfare and the length of the season and no doubt it will refresh him.

"He will be hungry come September."

Hartley had initially returned to training at Saints after the Ireland game, but was seen to be suffering symptoms of concussion.

Dickens explained: "It was a delayed concussion.

"He came back on the first day after the Ireland game and trained that day, but then he got symptoms.

"We went through the return to play protocol and he didn't get through that so that was when he went to see the specialist."