Mallinder expects Saints captaincy change to help Hartley

Dylan Hartley has decided not to carry on as Saints captain (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Dylan Hartley has decided not to carry on as Saints captain (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Jim Mallinder believes Dylan Hartley will be revitalised by giving up the Saints captaincy.

Hartley decided not to continue in the role he had held for the past six years, instead stressing the need to focus on his personal performances and family life.

Mallinder immediately approached Lee Dickson to take on the job of skippering the side for the 2015/16 campaign, and the scrum-half ‘jumped at it’.

And the Saints director of rugby feels the change will be beneficial for everyone involved.

“It’s a long time, there’s not many captains who do that long so Dylan’s done a good stint and he’s done it very, very well,” Mallinder said.

“He’s done it in his own way and we know that it’s not all been full of roses, we’ve had our ups and downs, but that’s life.

“The way Dylan has captained the side has been excellent for us.

“He’s now going to have a bit of a change, which I think will do him good and will do the squad good.

“I’m still looking forward to seeing Dylan playing that first game, running out for us in his normal determined mood.”

When asked how the change of captaincy unfolded, Mallinder explained: “The way it happened is how it always happens every single year: you talk to everyone concerned before you make a decision.

“I spoke to Dylan at length, I spoke to a lot of the senior boys at length and Dylan didn’t think his heart was 100 per cent in it.

“As soon as I heard those words I knew it was time for a change.

“I talked to Lee and he jumped at the chance.”