Eddie Jones names Dylan Hartley as new England captain

The England coach has named the Northampton hooker as the captain of his new look side for the Six Nations

BY Adrian Collins 14:34 Monday 25 January 2016, 14:34 25 Jan 2016

Image: David Davies / PA Archive/PA Images

Chris Robshaw, captain during England's disastrous World Cup campaign, will be replaced by Dylan Hartley as they head into the Six Nations.

Eddie Jones made the captaincy announcement on Monday afternoon in a press conference at Pennyhill Park in Surrey, the team's training base. 

Speaking after the announcement, a delighted Dylan Hartley said:

''It is a huge honour to captain England and a very proud day for me and my family. I’m really excited about the challenge ahead but in reality leading this squad of players will not fall just to me.''

The 29-year-old's previous disciplinary record was one of the reasons that there had been question marks over his promotion to the role of captain. He has served several bans for a number of incidents, including gouging the eyes of another man named in the England squad by Jones, James Haskell. 

Speaking about that incident on Saturday after Wasps handed Leinster a heavy defeat, Haskell said that it was in the past, and that Hartley was as a player who would lead by example with his efforts on the pitch: "there might be a few people with stiff collars who will get upset, but that's the nature of the game. You live and die by the sword.

"Dylan is a good man and a good player. You know he will give 100 per cent and I could not care less what he has done before".

Hartley served a 26-week ban for that offence (he also gouged the eyes of Jonny O'Connor), and also missed eight weeks after he bit Stephen Ferris in a Six Nations game in 2012.

Hartley punched Rory Best in that same year in a match against Ulster, which saw him banned for two weeks, while in 2013 he was hit with a 13-week ban for verbally abusing a referee in a Premiership match.

Between 2014 and 2015, he picked up another eight weeks of bans for two separate incidents, and was eventually dropped from the England set-up by Stuart Lancaster. 

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week