Rugby

It Sounds Like We'll Be Seeing Dylan Hartley In An England Shirt This Six Nations

It Sounds Like We'll Be Seeing Dylan Hartley In An England Shirt This Six Nations

It sounds very much like we'll see Dylan Hartley in an England shirt come this season's Six Nations.

Hartley being given a lenient six-weeks for striking Sean O'Brien earlier this month ensured he would be available for selection. His ban concludes on January 23rd, England face France on February 4th. The question: would Eddie Jones pick Hartley - not just as captain - but at all?

In an interview with The Telegraph, Jones said that Hartley has let down those around him.

Dylan will be more disappointed than anyone about what has happened and he has got to cop the penalty because the World Rugby directive on protecting the head is 100 per cent right. He has let down himself, he has let down his club and he has let down his country.

Despite Hartley being an obvious liability on the pitch, Jones added that this is not 30-year-old's final chance.

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Since Eddie Jones was appointed coach, Hartley has avoided the type of lengthy bans which have pockmarked his career - that merits the designation of 'an exemplary record' according to the Aussie. Usually, avoiding bans should not be much to ask from a professional rugby player. However, Hartley regularly stretches the edges of professionalism.

He is eligible for selection for the Six Nations and it comes down to the case for every selection – we pick the best 23 and if he is in the best 23, then he has a chance to be captain. This is not the last chance for him but he understands that he can’t behave in the way he did.

Up to this point he has had an exemplary record (for us). Discipline is not a black and white situation. Each player is judged on their merits and some players in our squad have already had more than one chance.

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

PJ Browne
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