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England’s Six Nations Grand Slam winning captain Dylan Harley will not play in Northampton’s European Champions Cup match against Saracens due to concussion.
Hartley was concussed in England’s Six Nations victory over France in Paris last month and he has not fully recovered from the incident.
Northampton Saints had hoped that the hooker would recover in time but he was left out of Saints’ matchday 23 along with prop Kieran Brookes and scrum-half Lee Dickson, who both suffered head knocks during last weekend’s defeat by Wasps.
Meanwhile, Wales wing George North, England back-row Tom Wood and No.8 Sam Dickinson are also sidelined, although England international Luther Burrell is back at inside centre following concussion.
By contrast, Premiership leaders Saracens are close to full strength, with England lock Maro Itoje — one of the stars of this season’s Six Nations — fit following a knee injury suffered in a league win over Bath.
“We have lost our hooker Jamie George as well so all sides have to deal with injuries,” said Saracens forwards coach Alex Sanderson.
“Hartley is huge for them, but Mike Heywood has been playing really well. Maybe not so much in his last game, but he was outstanding against Quins with some of his play around the field, his offloading and work over the ball.
“Northampton don’t lose much around the field without Hartley, but as a leader and as an inspiration of course they miss him.”
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