Rugby

Reaction To England's Incredibly Divisive Decision To Appoint Dylan Hartley As Captain

Reaction To England's Incredibly Divisive Decision To Appoint Dylan Hartley As Captain

England have confirmed that Chris Robshaw's successor as England captain is to be Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley.

It is a surprising and divisive decision by new England head coach Eddie Jones, given Hartley's fairly extraordinary record of ill-discipline.

A number of indiscretions - ranging from headbutting to biting to gouging - have earned Hartley a cumulative 50 weeks worth of suspensions, which fans of chronology will point out adds up to almost a full year worth of bans.

Introducing England's new rugby captain, Dylan Hartley.

Of those offences, three were committed against Irish players. Johnny O'Connor (then of London Irish) was one of the players Hartley was deemed to have eye-gouged in 2007, whilst Hartley was found guilty of biting Stephen Ferris in March 2012 and of punching Rory Best in December of the same year.

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Hartley's transgressions have caused him to miss out on England's World Cup squads in 2007 and 2015, and he also missed the 2013 Lions Tour having been hit with an eleven week ban for calling referee Wayne Barnes a "fucking cheat".

He also courted controversy at the World Cup he made it to in 2011, being one of the players at the heart of the drunken depravity that involved 'dwarf-throwing' at a bar in New Zealand.

In spite of such controversy, Jones has chosen Hartley to captain his England squad, saying that 'Dylan is an honest, hardworking bloke and I admire his aggressive and uncompromising approach to playing rugby'.

Hartley himself said that his challenge is to stay out of trouble while playing on the edge.

Hartley's appointment is certainly dividing opinion online:

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See Also: There's Been A Decidedly Mixed Irish Injury Update Ahead Of The Six Nations

See Also: Johnny Sexton Should Be Considering Retirement According To George Hook

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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