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Christ! England Are Working On Dylan Hartley's 'Tackling Technique' After 7th Suspension

Christ! England Are Working On Dylan Hartley's 'Tackling Technique' After 7th Suspension
By Gavan Casey
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Dylan Hartley will be named England captain for the Six Nations on Wednesday ahead of his return to action from a six-week ban for essentially walloping Seán O'Brien with his arm.

The Leinster back row was removed from the field of play after Hartley inexplicably tried to tackle O'Brien's head with one wildly flailing right arm during Leinster's thrashing of Northampton last month.

Hartley duly received his marching orders, with Sky cameras now famously cutting to a distraught Eddie Jones, who foresaw almost instantaneously the shit-storm that was destined to blow his way.


Hartley's incredibly unfortunate history with Irish players has produced over half of his seven suspensions, which in total have seen him miss over a year's worth of fixtures and the entirety of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The Northampton hooker's 54 weeks of bans notwithstanding, RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie believes that Hartley has "credit in the bank," and that he should continue as England captain.


On Wednesday, Ritchie's wish will be granted.

But Hartley's Six Nations opponents should fear not, because England have confirmed that they are in the process of teaching the 30-year-old how to tackle correctly.


England head coach Eddie Jones revealed today that England have been working on Hartley’s tackle technique during his suspension, largely in an attempt to prevent further red cards under new tackling rules.

"More cards are not inevitable,” said Jones of a man who once took part in a dwarf-throwing contest at a bar in Auckland.

Players chasing high kicks have to make better decisions, run the proper arc and get in a position where they can see the player coming down and the flight of the ball and make a decision. It is about better technique, the same as tackling.

It is like Dylan, if he has his arms in close he does not hit a bloke like that. We are consistently reinforcing good technique. We have spoken to Dylan and he has done numerous skill ­sessions to pick it up. He is not the only one with that flaw.

If only somebody had thought of this sooner, Hartley would have been spared one of his seven total suspensions, and missed only 48 weeks instead of 54.

Perhaps, instead, they can work on Hartley's 'not acting like a complete dickhead' technique. Although, in fairness, he's only ever received three cards for England - one for a stamp on Springbok Duane Vermuelen. Credit in the bank.


[Quotes via The Telegraph]

SEE ALSO: Detailing Dylan Hartley's History Of Incidents Against Irish Players

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