Eddie Jones Reveals Who He Plans On Picking As England Captain For Six Nations
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Dylan Hartley looks to have been thrown a lifeline.
The England and Northampton hooker disgraced himself last month after a reckless swinging arm on Sean O’Brien saw him red-carded and subsequently banned for six weeks. The ban brings his career total up to a whopping 60 weeks in total.
England boss Eddie Jones has admitted in recent weeks that Hartley let his country down, but seems to have thrown the hooker a lifeline with his latest comments. Hartley’s ban ends just before the Six Nations but will have missed six weeks of action, leaving his captaincy and starting berth in jeopardy.
Jones however will stand by his captain and give him every chance to start and retain leadership as long as he’s fit and ready to go.
“Dylan has got to come to Portugal (England training camp) fit and ready to go.” Jones said.
“He’s doing all the right things at the moment and if he keeps on doing that, there’s no reason why he won’t be starting hooker and captain.
“He has got to be one of the fittest players. He is on a stringent fitness programme now. He ate turkey and broccoli for Christmas dinner. He has to watch his diet.”
Back on the topic of Hartley’s suspension, Jone reveals they have had many conversations since.
“We’ve had many chats and no one is more disappointed than he is.
“He is a proud Northampton player and he wants to captain England. That’s the first mistake he has made for us.
Dylan made a judgment error. He went to hit the bloke hard, he wanted to stop the ball, the player’s height changed and he had a loose arm.
I see that as his first mistake, so there is no reason why that changes anything.”
Is Hartley the right man to lead England or should he be stripped as a result of his latest misdemeanour?