Skipper Hartley impressed by Saints’ summer signings

IMPRESSED - Saints skipper Dylan Hartley
IMPRESSED - Saints skipper Dylan Hartley

DYLAN HARTLEY believes Saints’ summer signings can make a massive impact at Franklin’s Gardens this season.

Dominic Waldouck, Ken Pisi, Sam Dickinson, Gerrit-Jan van Velze and Luther Burrell have all been training with the club after signing on at Northampton.

And Australian ace Cameron Shepherd is also set to link up with the squad before their first pre-season game, against Zebre at Millau on August 10.

Hartley got a chance to meet the new boys – with the exception of Shepherd – last week as he returned to Saints for the first time since England’s summer tour of South Africa.

He was impressed with what he saw and believes the fresh faces are capable of starring in the green, black and gold.

The new lads that have come in have all got the potential to be big players for us,” said Hartley, who is now in his eighth season at Saints.

“Ken Pisi is apparently the better brother. George Pisi made the (ESPN) dream team last year and he was obviously our player of the year so if Ken can deliver on those levels we’ve done all right there.

“It’s good, you’ve got to reintroduce players and everyone who’s come in looks the part so far.

Saints have been enduring a typically tough pre-season regime under the guidance of performance director Nick Johnston.

They were made to suffer during a military training camp at RAF Honington in Suffolk last week and Hartley is hoping the hard work pays off when the new season starts on September 1.

“That work ethic’s been there, the application and the lads are looking fit and strong,” he said.

“We’ve got a young squad and everyone’s been working hard together so hopefully that comes through on the field.”