Hartley to be named England 6N captain

Dylan Hartley will be named England captain

Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley is set to be named England captain by new head coach Eddie Jones for the Six Nations Championship.

The twenty-nine-year-old New Zealand born hooker is one of the senior players in the England squad and brings an increased level of aggression compared to the incumbent captain Chris Robshaw.

The announcement is expected to be made on Monday and is significant as it will mean that England will be coached by an Australian and captained by a New Zealander.

Hartley has a long history of discipline problems and missed the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour due to a ban.

The Saints hooker has missed 54 weeks of his career through suspensions for offences ranging from gouging and biting to abusing a referee.

Last year he was dropped from the England World Cup squad after being banned for four weeks for headbutting Saracens’ Jamie George – who ironically replaced him in the squad.

Meanwhile Head coach Jones has confirmed that World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson and former Australia flanker George Smith come in and help train the England squad during the Six Nations on an “informal” basis.

“They will come in and help the players at various times,” he said.

“George will definitely come in next Wednesday to help the back rowers. But it’s very informal. He’s not a coach as such, he’s doing it out of friendship.

“He’s one of the best defence breakdown forwards in the world. He will help our aspiring number sevens.”

Hartley’s disciplinary record

April 2007: Banned for 26 weeks for gouging Wasps forwards James Haskell and Jonny O’Connor
March 2012: Banned for eight weeks for biting Ireland’s Stephen Ferris in the Six Nations
December 2012: Banned for two weeks for striking Ulster’s Rory Best
May 2013: Banned for 11 weeks for verbal abuse of a match official – costs him a place on the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia
December 2014: Banned for three weeks for elbowing Leicester’s Matt Smith
May 2015: Banned for four weeks for headbutting Saracens’ Jamie George

 

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