England head coach Eddie Jones says Dylan Hartley "let his country down"

He is serving a six week ban

BY Raf Diallo 15:54 Wednesday 21 December 2016, 15:54 21 Dec 2016

Image: John Walton / PA Wire/Press Association Images

England rugby union head coach Eddie Jones says captain Dylan Hartley's "let his country down" and says there is no guarantee that the player will remain in the role for the Six Nations.

It comes after the England skipper was banned for six weeks following his red card while playing for club side Northampton.

The incident in the European Champions Cup saw Leinster and Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien on the end of a dangerous hit from Hartley who had already incurred 54 weeks worth of bans prior to the latest suspension.

Speaking in the Daily Telegraph, Jones says Hartley knows he can't continue to end up with punishments like it.

"Dylan will be more disappointed than anyone about what has happened and he has got to cop the penalty, because the World Rugby directive on protecting the head is 100 per cent right," said Jones who led England to the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2016.

"He has let down himself, he has let down his club and he has let down his country."

However, Jones did add that "this is not the last chance for him".

There have also been question marks regarding Hartley's potential captaincy of the British and Irish Lions for the 2017 tour to New Zealand.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has not closed the door on Hartley for that role.

"It's not about ruling anyone out. It's so early to be even thinking that far ahead and there's a number of people that will be in contention for a potential captain's role," he recently told Sky Sports News.

"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.

"He has done a great job leading England and they have gone really well."

However, former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan felt that Hartley captaining the Lions was now in question.

"As a Lions captain, I just don't know how you can take that punt on him," he told Newstalk.


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