England’s Dylan Hartley Hits Back At Michael Cheika’s Claims

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England captain Dylan Hartley has stressed that his side’s scrum is “clean,” hitting back at Michael Cheika 

Hartley’s front-row teammate, Dan Cole has been accused of scrummaging illegally in the past by Australia and the message has been the same in the run-up to Saturday’s Test at Twickenham.

“That same prop’s been infringing the law since his career started probably, if not all of this year,” Michael Cheika said earlier this week.

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Hartley countered Cheika’s claim by saying that reports from the officials after matches had suggested that England’s scrum had been legal throughout the year.

“You don’t stumble across 60-odd caps scrummaging illegally,” Hartley told the BBC.

“The directives we get back from the refs always say that England have a good, clean scrummage.”

Hartley knows Cole well both as a team-mate and as an opponent from the pair’s time on opposite sides playing for Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers respectively.

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The England captain described Cole as “a rock” and tough to play against.

“I play against Cole a couple of times a year and it’s always very difficult against him. He’s a rock, like every tighthead should be,” he added.

“There’s plenty for us to work on and we’re looking for that complete scrummaging performance this weekend because this team is underpinned by a dominant set-piece and that’s what we want to provide.”

Keep a close eye on the scrum this weekend, it’s bound to be interesting.

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