Dylan Hartley signs new contract at Northampton Saints

England hooker Dylan Hartley has signed a new deal to keep him with Northampton until at least 2015.

Hartley has made 144 appearances in the black, green and gold, scoring 15 tries, since arriving from Worcester in the summer of 2005.

The 25-year-old was made captain in 2009 and led the Saints to the 2011 Heineken Cup final.

"I'm delighted and very happy to be staying at the Saints," Hartley told the club website.external-link

Hartley, now in his seventh season at Franklin's Gardens, has established himself as one of the best hookers in England with 34 caps to his name, and started every game in England's title-winning 2011 Six Nations campaign.

"I've got a lot of ambition for myself and for the team and want to keep cracking on," he said. "I know that I need to keep improving as a player as we've got several good hookers at the club who all want to be playing first team rugby and are knocking on the door.

"I'm delighted and very happy to be staying at the Saints. I've played all my professional rugby here, the club's a big part of my life and I'm happy to continue that.

"The Heineken Cup run last year is an obvious highlight of my time here so far, and Division One was good fun, too. But my whole time here has been a great experience and a learning curve. I've grown up here and it's a home away from home."

Hartley is the fifth player to have signed a new deal with the Saints in the past two weeks, and director of rugby Jim Mallinder is delighted that his captain has put pen to paper once again.

"Even though he is just 25 years old, Dylan is one of our senior players, and we're now just starting to see him grow into his position as captain," he said.

"He leads the team from the front and never takes a backward step. He is very motivated to make the team succeed and bring the best out of the other players in the squad."