Hartley stays as Saints skipper
Dylan Hartley has been confirmed as Northampton captain for the new Aviva Premiership season.
Hartley, 27, was sent off in the Saints' Aviva Premiership final defeat to Leicester for verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes.
But Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder insisted Hartley had learned from the incident, which led to an 11-week ban and cost him a place on the British and Irish Lions tour.
Hartley will be available for Northampton's first game of the season, against Exeter on September 7, and Mallinder has backed him to handle the scrutiny.
"Dylan has matured a great deal over the past few years and is now an excellent club captain," Mallinder said.
"A massive amount of that work is done behind the scenes during the week, and Dylan's attitude and desire has won him the respect of the rest of the players as well as the backroom staff.
"Of course we're aware that the events of May's Aviva Premiership final will mean that there will be a lot of attention on Dylan this season. He has learned from what happened at Twickenham and knows what is expected of him in the coming season.
"We certainly believe that he has the temperament to do well under the pressure, and will continue to improve as a player and as a leader."
Hartley, who has led Northampton for the last four years, was named in the England squad earlier this month after giving head coach Stuart Lancaster assurances over his future conduct.