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Jones has no concern over Hartley's fitness despite concussion

Eddie Jones (left) has backed Hartley (right) to be fit enough to lead England in Australia. Credit: PA

England head coach Eddie Jones says he has no concerns over Dylan Hartley's fitness - despite him missing much of the second-half of the season with concussion.

The Northampton Saints hooker was knocked out in the Six Nations Grand Slam decider against France in March.

Hartley only returned for the Saints' final game of the campaign earlier this month, but Jones has faith that he will be fine to lead England in their upcoming tour of Australia.

I’m not concerned by his lack of rugby.

He trained very well in Brighton (at the training camp). He was one of our best performers so he’ll be able to play against Wales and will hopefully get 50 or 60 minutes then he’ll be right for the first Test.

– Eddie Jones, England Head Coach

England take on Wales at Twickenham next weekend before heading over to Australia in June.

First England call-up for Northampton Saints flanker Harrison

Teimana Harrison will travel with the England squad to Australia. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints flanker Teimana Harrison has been called up to the England squad for the first time for next month's tour of Australia.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a dream season at Franklin's Gardens and was named in the Aviva Premiership team of the year.

Dylan Hartley will again captain the side, while Courtney Lawes and Paul Hill have also been selected.

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Bedford lock Flanagan joins Premiership giants Saracens

Mark McCall is happy to have signed Flanagan. Credit: PA

Bedford Blues forward Mark Flanagan has joined Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens on a two-year deal.

The second row has been in fantastic form for the Blues this season, helping them reach The Championship play-offs.

The 26-year-old will complete his move in the summer.

We have been watching Mark for some time and he has proved himself one of the most impressive lock forwards in the Championship.

We're delighted he's chosen to advance his career at Saracens.

– Mark McCall, Saracens Director of Rugby

Meanwhile, Bedford have signed London Irish centre Tom Farrell.

Hartley reportedly a doubt for Grand Slam decider

Hartley (centre) lifts the Six Nations trophy in his first campaign as captain. Credit: PA

England rugby captain Dylan Hartley could miss this weekend's Grand Slam decider against France, according to reports.

The Daily Mirror say that the Northampton Saints star sat out training at Pennyhill Park today after picking up an injury.

Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie would be the favourite to replace Hartley should the worst be confirmed.

England have already been crowned as this year's Six Nations champions, but still need to beat France in Paris to complete a first Grand Slam since 2003.

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Northampton Saints centre Burrell earns England recall

Luther Burrell is back in the England squad. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints centre Luther Burrell has been recalled to the England squad ahead of this weekend's Six Nations clash with Ireland.

The call-up marks a return to the international fold for the 28-year-old, who was famously dropped from the World Cup squad at the last minute by former coach Stuart Lancaster.

Burrell admitted the rejection left him "broken" and was subsequently given time off by the Saints to get over the blow.

However, he will now have a chance to impress new boss Eddie Jones after Bath's Ollie Devoto was ruled out with concussion.

Northampton Saints to honour Barwell family with opening of new stand

The Barwell Stand will be officially opened today. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The new North Stand at Northampton Saints' Franklin's Gardens will be officially opened today (February 13).

The 2,000-seater Barwell Stand has been used since early November but a ceremonial cutting of ribbon will take place this afternoon before Saints' Premiership clash with London Irish.

The day will be dedicated to the Barwell family who have played a key role in the running of the club in recent years.

A number of Saints legends will also be paraded in front of the crowd before kick-off.

"Although the Barwell Stand will honour the name for years to come, it is only fitting that supporters are given the opportunity to show their gratitude and thanks to Keith and the rest of the Barwell family for what they have done for Saints over the years which has culminated in us being where we are today - one of the best clubs in England.

One of Keith's core beliefs was that the club is bigger than any one individual, which is why we're inviting players who have put their names in the history books by having played hundreds of times in the first team to join us, and why we're working with local schools to tell youngsters about our past that we're so proud of.

It will be a great occasion, and we're looking forward to seeing another full house to help make this a memorable day for Keith and his family."

– Allan Robson, Northampton Saints Chief Executive

Northampton Saints v London Irish, Aviva Premiership, Saturday 13 February, 15:00

Saints start 2016 with a win over the Chiefs

Saints star Mark Haywood who scored the only try in the win over Exeter on New Year's Day Credit: Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints got 2016 off to the perfect start this afternoon beating Premiership title rivals Exeter Chiefs 8-3 in front of a record crowd at Franklin's Gardens.

Saints Hooker Mark Haywood got the only try of game in the first half. As the rain poured down the home side held firm and although Exeter scored a penalty with seven minutes to go, Northampton always looked like claiming a well deserved victory.

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