Rugby

"He's Been The Perfect Ambassador On And Off The Pitch" - RFU Chief Speaks On Dylan Hartley Controversy

"He's Been The Perfect Ambassador On And Off The Pitch" - RFU Chief Speaks On Dylan Hartley Controversy

We've already seen how British rugby writers and ex-rugby players have adopted a much more benign position re Hartley than their irate Irish counterparts. Former Wales flanker Martyn Williams went so far as to say that he thought it was not even a red card.

This sentiment was retweeted by Will Carling. And while we all know that retweets do not necessarily constitute an endorsement, all we can say is it seemed to on this occcasion.

Notwithstanding, his 54 weeks of bans, RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie believes that Hartley has"credit in the bank" and should continue as England captain.

Ultimately, the argument here seems to be that if England had lost a few more matches this year, Hartley's latest red card might have been sufficient for him to be stripped of the captaincy.

I think Dylan's got credit in the bank. .

I think most people would say it's been a fantastic year. We've had 13 wins out of 13 and Dylan has made a huge contribution and he should be allowed to continue that.

Obviously it's disappointing when he gets sent off but we'll wait and see what happens.

If he's eligible to be in contention for the Six Nations then it's a matter for Eddie.

He's been a great leader and his performances on the pitch, and the way he's helped Eddie with the team... I think he's done a fantastic job.

Ever since Dylan's been involved in the set-up, he has been the perfect ambassador on and off the pitch.

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Hartley will be sanctioned at a meeting in London tomorrow. He has been cited for striking, meaning that his ban could be anything from two weeks to eight weeks.

Hartley's first ever ban in professional rugby - for gouging both James Haskell and Johnny O'Connor in the same match - was a historic 30 weeks before being reduced to 26 weeks on account of his good character, youth and inexperience", arguably, none of which he is in possession of now.

The Sunday Times's Sunday Jones says that Hartley will be excpetionally lucky to receive a six week ban.

Read more: "Never A Red!" - There Is A Very Different Tone To Dylan Hartley Commentary In The UK

Conor Neville
Article written by
Perennial finalist in stand-up comedy competitions and former Contract Lawyer/ Coal Salesman with Corless, Corless and Sweeney

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