After being named club captain for the fourth season, Dylan Hartley admitted he felt he had a big point to prove going into the 2013/14 season – and boy did he make it.
Dylan can now add Premiership Champion to his ever growing list of rugby honours and no one was keener to get their hands on the silverware at Twickenham than the hooker, who admitted to being ‘obsessed’ by the showpiece for the 12 months since the 2013 Premiership final.
Now considered a senior player not only for the Saints, but England too, at the start of the 2014/15 season Dylan was knocking on the door of a double century in black, green and gold - already a 50-cap international.
His England debut came in 2009, three years after joining the Saints from Worcester, and he now holds the accolade of being England’s third highest capped hooker behind Steve Thompson and Brian Moore.
After a fine Six Nations campaign, running a near faultless lineout in tandem with clubmate Courtney Lawes - Dylan had to watch the Amlin Cup final and Aviva Premiership semi-final from the injury bench, but still remained a commanding voice in the changing room.
Shoulder fully healed, he was fit enough to make the 23 for the Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham and came from the bench to play an important role in setting up the extra-time try that won Saints the game.