World Cup 2015: Incentive is good for Saints, says Dylan Hartley

Northampton captain Dylan Hartley believes a season of World Cup build-up will benefit the Premiership champions.

Saints have eight players who are England squad regulars, and Hartley says the prospect of a World Cup on home soil will enhance performances.

"We have a lot of internationals and a lot of boys pressing their cases," the hooker told BBC Radio Northampton.

"That can only be good for Saints. We want to play well here first and then get that recognition from England."

The 2015 World Cup will be held in England in September next year and Northampton have a host of internationals vying to participate.

Hartley, Courtney Lawes, Lee Dickson, Stephen Myler, Ben Foden, Luther Burrell, Tom Wood and Alex Corbisiero will all be in England contention.

George North is a Wales regular, Kahn Fotuali'i and Ken and George Pisi will hope to feature for Samoa, while Samu Manoa has been capped by the USA.

"The general rule is you've got to be playing well for your club," said Hartley.

"If you play well here the team performs and it elevates everyone's position."

Hartley missed a large proportion of the climax of last season with a neck injury, but returned to action in time for the Premiership final success over Saracens and for England's summer tour of New Zealand.

"I feel fit. I feel strong. All injuries have been put aside. I'm healed up and ready to go," added the 28-year-old.