Warren Gatland Has Made Some Baffling Remarks Regarding Dylan Hartley
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Warren Gatland has refused to rule Dylan Harley out of contention for the 2017 British & Irish Lions captaincy.
The Northampton and England hooker has spent 54 weeks of his career suspended that have cost him places at two Rugby World Cups and the 2013 Lions tour. His latest misdemeanor saw him sent off for a swinging arm against Ireland’s Sean O’Brien this past weekend.
Hartley will now face a hearing today after being cited for the incident and is set to add to his suspension history and possibly miss a chunk of next year’s RBS Six Nations. Despite all of this, Gatland has refused to rule him our of contention for the prestigious Lions role.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Gatland said he’s absolutely not ruling anyone out for the role at this stage.
Absolutely not, I don’t think it’s about ruling anyone out – it’s so early to be thinking that far ahead,” Gatland said
The Lions head coach further added that the first decision is about picking a squad of players and subsequently the captain based on the panel of players chosen.
“There are a number of people who will be in contention for a potential captain’s role. But it is about picking the squad first. There is a lot of water to go under the bridge before those sort of things are finalised.”
Addressing the Harley situation directly, Gatland believes his track record over the last year needs to be take into consideration following the tackle on O’Briem
“To be fair to Dylan in the last 12 months he has had a great track record and you have to feel for him. Hopefully he will take his punishment and get back for the Six Nations and hope he goes well.“
What do you think? Should Hartley’s latest antics rule him out of contention for the Lions captaincy?