Hartley: Saints loyalty more important than Montpellier money

Dylan Hartley says repaying Saints’ loyalty was more important than taking the money on offer at Montpellier after agreeing to stay at Franklin’s Gardens.

BIG DECISION - Dylan Hartley has opted to remain at Saints (picture: Sharon Lucey)
BIG DECISION - Dylan Hartley has opted to remain at Saints (picture: Sharon Lucey)

The England hooker has signed a new three-year Northampton deal that will be announced by the club on Wednesday.

Courtney Lawes, Calum Clark, Alex Waller, Ethan Waller, Gareth Denman and James Craig will also be confirmed as having re-signed.

But it is the retention of Hartley, now in his fifth season as captain, that sends the biggest message.

And, in his column for The Sun, the 28-year-old said: “It’s no secret I was offered a deal to join one of the leading French sides, Montpellier, which would have been worth significantly more. But money isn’t everything,

“I don’t want to come across all ‘holier than thou’ over this, but I do believe the world loyalty has gone out of fashion a bit - and for me that really means something.

“I have a great admiration for the one-club men, across a variety of sports, and if I can finish my career with Saints as my only professional club I’ll be a very proud man.

“Saints have shown incredible loyalty towards me, particularly during my well-documented disciplinary issues, and it’s great that I can take this opportunity to try to repay their faith in me.

“And I’m obviously aware that staying at Saints means I will continue to be eligible for England in the run-up to the 2019 World Cup, not just next year’s competition. A move to Montpellier would not have threatened my participation in 2015 as I would not have joined them officially until after the World Cup.

“That, the very generous money they were offering and the promise of around 300 days of sunshine, made the opportunity to play abroad very tempting. But I’ve no doubt that I’ve made the right decision.”