18 Dec 2015

Hartley to be appointed England captain

11:30 am on 18 December 2015

Rotorua-born hooker Dylan Hartley is set to be appointed England rugby captain under new coach Eddie Jones.

Hartley, who moved to England as a teenager, plays for Northampton and will replace flanker Chris Robshaw who was captain throughout former coach Stuart Lancaster's reign.

The BBC reported Joe Launchbury had been tipped as a future skipper but it is thought Jones wanted a more confrontational character to lead the side.

Hartley was dropped from the World Cup after being banned for a head-butt.

However, despite his poor disciplinary record - he has been banned for a total of 54 weeks during his career - the 29-year-old's total of 66 England caps makes him one of the most experienced players available to Jones heading into the Six Nations, which starts on February.

Dylan Hartley tries to tackle All Blacks captain Richie McCaw in the 2014 test at Twickenham.

Richie McCaw escapes Dylan Hartley's tackle in a 2014 Test at Twickenham. Photo: Photosport

Hartley, who captained Northampton to the Premiership title in 2014, has been out of action for a number of weeks with concussion.

Although he is unlikely to continue to lead the side, Robshaw remains firmly on the England radar, but as a blindside flanker rather than on the openside.

Jones, who is the first overseas coach appointed to the England job, has previously said Robshaw, who made his international debut in 2009, was not "outstandingly good in any area" following England's early exit from the recent World Cup.

England won only one of their opening three matches and became the first sole hosts to be eliminated at the group stage of the tournament.


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