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.
England take on Wales at Twickenham next weekend before heading over to Australia in June.
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.
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' Dylan Hartley is reportedly among the frontrunners to captain England under the regime of new head coach Eddie Jones.
Despite accumulating an extensive list of disciplinary suspensions totalling more than a year throughout his career, Hartley is rumored to be one of the leading candidates to take over the captaincy.
He would take over from former Chris Robshaw, who led the side throughout the tenure of previous coach Stuart Lancaster.
Saints have been replaced at the top of Pool Three by Racing Metro after they were beaten comfortably 33-3 in their European Champions Cup match.
Prospects of progressing from their group could well rest on next week's reserve fixture at Franklin's Gardens , as Northampton suffered their first defeat in five games.
The Saints improved in the late stages of the game, enjoying more possession of the ball, but Racing's quality was just too much, with tries coming from Chavancy, Ben Arous, Dulin and Imhoff.
Northampton Saints secured a much needed second win of the season tonight, claiming a 15-3 victory over Gloucester.
There were no tries in the match, with all points coming courtesy of penalty kicks from fly halves Stephen Myler and Billy Twelvetrees.
Myler's fifteen points were enough to secure the win, which lifts Saints to fifth in the table.
Northampton centre Luther Burrell felt "let down" by head coach Stuart Lancaster after he was left out of England's squad for the World Cup.Read the full story ›
Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder has declined to comment on speculation he could succeed Stuart Lancaster as England Head Coach.
Most bookmakers have Mallinder among the frontrunners to take over. However there is speculation English rugby's governing body, the RFU, may go for an overseas candidate.
Kieran Brookes was one of three Northampton Saints players who featured in England's failed World Cup campaign. He says he's not surprised about the speculation given Mallinder's skill as a coach:
Northampton Saints have announced the signing of France and Toulouse star Louis Picamoles for next season.
Number 8 Picamoles was part of the French World Cup squad which reached the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup last month.
He scored in their 13-62 loss against New Zealand in the knockout stages of the tournament.
“It is going to be an honour to become part of a club as prestigious as the Saints. I’m really looking forward to learn more about the club, my future team mates, to play in the Aviva Premiership and to immerse myself in the English culture, especially my first big derby against Leicester!"
The Northampton Saints will be hosting a friendly match with Worcester behind closed doors this Friday.Read the full story ›