- Mar 24, 1986
- Rotorua (New Zealand)
2009/10 was a big year for Dylan, who is now starting to realise the potential identified by commentators and England age group selectors. Chosen by Jim Mallinder to be the youngest club captain in the Guinness Premiership, Dylan also cemented his place as England's first choice hooker.
Despite still being in his mid-twenties, Dylan is very much one of the squad's senior players and passed a century of appearances in the Heineken Cup trip to Benetton Treviso in December 2009. The hooker retained the armband for the 2010/11 season as well as a spot in England's Autumn Internationals squad, before nailing down the number 2 jersey for the duration of their Six Nations triumph.
Aviva Premiership Player of the Month for April, plaudits came from all-round for Dylan's committed performances and inspirational leadership skills, and he would go on to lead his side into the Premiership semi-finals and Heineken Cup final, scoring a try in the latter, too.
A Rugby World Cup debut was frustrating one for Dylan, his time in New Zealand restricted to a bit part role and England would slip out of the tournament at the quarter final stage.
The hooker was back in white for the Six Nations some three months later, however, and still a resounding first choice for the summer tour of South Africa, Dylan skippered england for the first time in the third and final Test - a 14-all draw at Port Elizabeth.
Injury meant that was a place he would lose to Tom Youngs over the Autumn Series of 2012, but the Saints skipper responded in the best possible fashion, leading Saints to the Aviva Premiership Final from the front and claiming man of the match gongs against Sale, Exeter, London Irish and Wasps.
Form and fitness proven, Hartley was back breathing down Youngs' neck among those wins for the Six Nations and was duly named as one of three hookers to tour Australia with the British and Irish Lions.