Dylan Hartley set to return for Northampton's Champions Cup clash
By Charlotte Bates
Last Updated: 19/10/16 5:03pm
England captain Dylan Hartley could return from injury when Northampton take on Castres in Saturday's European Champions Cup clash, live on Sky Sports.
Saints will name their team for the Pool Four clash at Stade Pierre Antoine on Friday lunchtime, with hooker Hartley in contention to play for the first time since September 11.
Hartley, who captained England to the Grand Slam earlier this year and June's 3-0 series win in Australia, had been suffering from back spasms which prevented him from lifting weights and scrummaging, but is back in full training.
Saints backs coach Alan Dickens said: "Dylan's been injured. He's on the route back.
"He trained fully last week. He's trained fully this week, it's just dependent on how he reacts. He's there or thereabouts."
Hartley's imminent return comes as a boost not just for a Saints side seeking to build on their opening 16-14 win over Montpellier, but also for England.
England's opening match of the autumn series is against South Africa on November 12.
England second row Courtney Lawes has also trained fully this week and is in contention to return to Northampton's starting XV, while Christian Day is likewise back in training.
However, centre Luther Burrell remains out with concussion after the Premiership match against Saracens at Allianz Park on September 17.
Dickens added: "Luther's going through the return to play protocol. He had a little bit of a setback.
"And we just thought we would start the process again."