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Hartley steps back from captaincy

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Saints reveal who is taking over after Dylan Hartley steps back from Northampton captaincy

Northampton Saints have confirmed that Alex Waller and Teimana Harrison will co-captain the squad for the 2019/20 season and replace Dylan Hartley at the Franklin’ Gardens helm. 

The duo share nearly 400 Northampton appearances between them, with Waller also leading Saints last term in the absence of the injury-hit Hartley, helping them to finish fourth in the Gallagher Premiership, reach the knockout stages of the European Challenge Cup and lift the Premiership Rugby Cup trophy.

Harrison, too, skippered the side on several occasions in 2018/19 and after showing his ability to lead from the front with his hard-hitting, abrasive playing style, Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd admits he had no hesitation in handing over the armband to the England international on a full-time basis.

“Teimana leads by example within our group and is respected by absolutely everybody throughout the club,” said Boyd.

“He skippered the side superbly when called upon last season and I’m delighted to see him embrace this new role; he’s relishing the opportunity and understands the significance of representing this proud rugby community as co-captain of Northampton Saints.

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“Alex and Teimana have now played in the same side for eight seasons and I’m sure their relationship will grow even further as they lead the squad together.

“After pretty much 10 years in a leadership capacity, Dylan Hartley decided to step away from the captain’s role this year – but he will continue to be a significant and influential member of our group.

“Dylan was responsible for Teimana coming over from New Zealand and pulling on a Northampton jersey in the first place, so I know he is seriously proud to now hand over this responsibility to him and to help him adapt to the job at hand.”

Saints wrap up their pre-season preparations this week, hosting a warm-up match against Leinster at Franklin’s Gardens on Thursday evening before the Premiership Rugby Sevens competition on Friday and Saturday.

WATCH: The trailer for the soon-to-be-released RugbyPass documentary on the Tonga national team as they prepare to play England in their 2019 World Cup opener in Japan

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Saints reveal who is taking over after Dylan Hartley steps back from Northampton captaincy