Dylan Hartley Reveals What He Was Thinking When He Hit Sean O’Brien

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at [email protected]
Jason Hennessy

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Dylan Hartley is currently serving a six-week ban for a reckless challenge on Leinster’s Sean O’Brien.

The England captain had only been on the pitch a few minutes when he wildly swung on O’Brien, injuring the Ireland back-row in the process. He was subsequently sent-off and ended up being handed a six-week ban.

The ban brought his career total up to a whopping sixty weeks, but the England skipper will be available in time for their opening round clash with France in the Six Nations.


Speaking to BBC 5 Live Sport, Hartley revealed he just wanted to make an impact in the game, but obviously it didn’t go according to plan.

I didn’t know Eddie [Jones] was there.

I came back to Northampton and wanted to make a positive impact in a big game for the club.

It obviously went horribly wrong. That walk off the field is never a quick moment. It always seems to drag on for a while.

At the Six Nations launch, given the nature of the challenge, the hooker was understandably asked- what was he thinking?

Positive, dominant, hard tackle. That’s what I was thinking. Obviously the outcome was different to what I intended.

Part of the directive from Eddie [Jones] was that my tackling technique needs to improve because I have a tendency to have my arms high in a tackle.

I’ve worked very hard with Paul Gustard with that. It’s not something that finishes now that I’m back playing, it’s an ongoing thing.

Have a look at the challenge again below and we’ll let you decide.