Mallinder’s delight for Lion Dylan

Jim Mallinder says it is fantastic to see Saints skipper Dylan Hartley selected for the British & Irish Lions.

Hartley was named as one of three hookers in Warren Gatland’s 37-man squad 
for this summer’s tour of 
Australia.

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

The England star will compete with international team-mate Tom Youngs and Wales No.2 Richard Hibbard for a starting place in the three Test matches Down Under.

And Mallinder said: “It’s fantastic for the club. I’m delighted for him. He’s worked really hard over the past few years, he’s definitely improved as a player and he’s been a big player for us.

“There are a number of good hookers who could have gone, but he’s delighted he’s got the nod and we as a club are delighted for him.”

Hartley is the only member of the current Northampton squad to have made the Lions cut, but winger George North, who will arrive at the club in the summer, is in the group.

“I feel a little bit sorry for the other members of the squad who got very close, but there’s a lot of rugby to be played and there’s still time before the Lions go,” Mallinder said. “The lads have got to keep playing well, keep fit and see what happens.”

More Saints - pages 212-215