10 Dec 2016

England captain red carded

1:37 pm on 10 December 2016

England rugby captain Dylan Hartley has added another red card to his already controversial career.

Dylan Hartley playing for England.

Dylan Hartley playing for England. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hartley was was sent off while playing for Northampton in a European Cup match against Leinster on Saturday.

The 30-year-old hooker was ejected fro the game for a swinging arm tackle on Leinster flanker Sean O'Brien shortly after coming on as a replacement.

Hartley, banned for a total of 54 weeks in his career for offences including eye-gouging, biting and verbally abusing referees, was named England captain by coach Eddie Jones this year and led the team to 13 wins in a row.

He missed the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia in 2013 due to suspension and was omitted from the England squad for last year's World Cup because of a ban for head-butting

The former All Blacks captain and world cup winner, Sean Fitzpatrick, voiced his support for the New Zealand born Hartley when he was appointed captain of England, but could not see him rivalling Welsh captain Sam Warburton for the Lions captaincy when they tour New Zealand in 2017.

Last week the Welsh and British and Irish Lions coach, Warren Gatland, named Andy Farrell, Rob Howley and Steve Borthwick as his three assistants for next year's tour and left the door open for a surprise call-up for former Fiji Sevens coach Ben Ryan.

(L-R) Coaches Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley, head coach Warren Gatland and coach Andy Farrell.

(L-R) Coaches Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley, head coach Warren Gatland and coach Andy Farrell. Photo: INPHO / Photosport

Former dual-code international Farrell, England's defence coach under Stuart Lancaster and now doing that job for Ireland, will fill the role again for the Lions having done it under Gatland during the series victory over Australia in 2013.

Howley, currently leading Wales during Gatland's sabbatical, will again be the backs coach.

Borthwick, currently working under Jones as the forwards coach for England, will look after the Lions forwards.

- Reuters / RNZ