England captain Dylan Hartley has been ruled out of their three-match Test series against the Springboks in June.
Hartley sustained a concussion playing in the Six Nations clash against Ireland and will miss the remainder of the European season.
Following specialist medical advice, the Northampton hooker will take an extended period of rest over the English summer with a view to starting Saints’ pre-season training.
‘I’m very disappointed that I will not be available for selection for Saints’ remaining Premiership games, as well England’s tour to South Africa,’ said the 32-year-old.
‘It has been recommended by specialists that I take a break this summer and while I find that decision hard to accept, it’s important I listen to that advice.
‘I intend to use this time to recover fully from my injury, so I can be ready to hit the ground running when pre-season training starts later this summer.’
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