England skipper Dylan Hartley has signed a new Northampton Saints contract and been appointed as the club's captain for a second time.
The 31-year-old has made 229 appearances in his 12 years at Franklin’s Gardens,
Hartley, who has 86 caps for England, said it was an easy decision to commit his future to Saints.
“After completing my 11th year at Franklin’s Gardens last season I was delighted when the club suggested extending my time here," he said.
"I’m very proud to be offered an opportunity to continue playing and being part of such a great club.
“When Jim approached me about taking on the captaincy I was surprised. For me the timing is right and it is certainly a challenge I want to take on. I’m very passionate about the Saints and would love to see us competing for trophies. We have some valuable experience within the squad that will be driving the team forward this year."
In his time as England captain he has led the side to two Six Nations titles as well tour whitewashes over Australia and Argentina. They also completed an Old Mutual Wealth clean sweep and went the entire of 2016 unbeaten.
“I’d also like to thank the Saints supporters for the way that they have been behind both me personally and the team as a whole throughout my time here," added the hooker.
"We all appreciate the time and effort they put in to following us home and away, and hopefully we will all enjoy success together this season.”