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Tom Wood replaces Lee Dickson as Northampton captain

Flanker Tom Wood has been named Northampton captain for the new season.

The 42-cap back-rower takes the armband from scrum-half Lee Dickson, while current England captain Dylan Hartley remains among Saints' ranks.

Wood captained Northampton in Saints' victorious 2014 Aviva Premiership and Challenge Cup finals, and now assumes the role full-time.

"Tom has long been part of a strong group of leaders at the club and we believe he has all the credentials to be an outstanding captain for Northampton Saints," said rugby director Jim Mallinder of Wood, who captained England in Argentina in 2011.

"We've seen in the past that he always leads by example, both on the field with his unbelievable work rate and passion, as well as off it with his wholehearted approach to everything he does.

"His past experiences in the role for both club and country made him the overwhelming choice.

"He takes over from Lee (Dickson), who put his all into the role last season and will continue to play a big part on the field and in the leadership group we've already mentioned ."

Northampton finished fifth and missed the Premiership play-offs last term, leading boss Mallinder to tweak his resources.

Wood played a central role for England under Stuart Lancaster, but has been considered surplus to requirements since by new boss Eddie Jones.

"I'm hugely honoured and privileged to be in a position to be able to accept the role," said Wood.

"I'm really looking forward to an exciting new challenge leading a club with such a proud history and great players and captains who have gone before me.

"I want to thank Lee (Dickson) for his contributions last year and also for the dignity and grace with which he handed me the reins. To have his support means the world to me and I'll be relying a huge amount on the guys around me to help make this club what it can be."

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