Sir Clive Woodward Offers Outrageous Opinion On Dylan Hartley Incident

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Sometimes in life you just have to put your hand up and admit to wrongdoings.

Dylan Hartley has had a fantastic 12 months, well at least he did until his latest misdemeanour. The England captain led his national side to an unbeaten season, winning thirteen games from thirteen, lifting a Grand Slam along the way and demolishing the Wallabies in Australia.

Those twelve months however should not cancel out his previous record of indiscipline which dates back as far as 2007. Between 2007 and 2015, Hartley was banned six times, totalling 54 weeks of suspension which has seen him miss two Rugby World Cups and a Lions Tour.

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The hooker’s swinging arm on Sean O’Brien this past weekend, proved that he still hasn’t learned his lesson and simply cannot control himself at times. Shockingly however Hartley is still being defended for his actions with the likes of the RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie and former Lions coach Ian McGeechan coming to his aid in recent days.

Former England coach Sir Clive Woodward however, has now come out with the most outrageous of opinions of the incident. Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, begins by saying Hartley’s latest showing of indiscipline should not rule him out of both the English and Lions captaincy.

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“If Hartley receives a suspension, it absolutely should not deprive him of either the England captaincy or see him drop out as a candidate to skipper the Lions.”

While perhaps he doesn’t deserve to lose the England captaincy after such a good year, to suggest he should still be in the running for the Lions captaincy is absolute nonsense. He also shockingly states that Hartley’s challenge on O’Brien warranted a yellow but only possibly a red card.

“It looked like he wanted to tackle Sean O’Brien — very hard — legally at torso height. His arm was out because he was actually looking to make a legal tackle and wrap one arm around his opponent as the law requires. It would have been a shuddering collision but not illegal.”

We’re not quite sure which match Sir Clive was watching, but it certainly wasn’t the Leinster and Northampton game.

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Jason Hennessy

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

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