Update: As predicted before Christmas, today Dylan Hartley was appointed England Captain for the Six Nations by Head Coach Eddie Jones.
He asked me if I wanted the job and I couldn’t shake his hand quick enough.
There are reports that a former Crowborough teenager is tipped to succeed Chris Robshaw as Captain of the England Rugby Team.
This morning there is speculation in the national media that Dylan Hartley, who missed the World Cup because of disciplinary reasons, could make a surprise return to the England side as Captain for the Six Nations. The new England coach has has already made it clear that every player in England will begin with a clean slate.
Hartley, who was was born in New Zealand, qualifies to play for England because of his England mother. Dave Pass, Teacher of Science at Beacon Academy and Rugby Academy Coach explains how his son met Hartley whilst he was playing at Rotorua Boys’ High School in New Zealand:
We are all extremely proud that Dylan has been nominated to lead the New England rugby team for the forthcoming 6 nations. Since being at Beacon some 14 years ago having met my son Jon, who was playing for Sussex in Rotorura and Dylan approached him and asked If I could get him into the England side. Jon told him to ring me, which he did and I told him that if he was good enough then yes I could. Within 6 weeks he was enrolled at Beacon and playing for the Academy. It didn’t take him long to scale the County scene and then the rest is history.
Personally I believe he is just what England need, he is strong, talented, a proven leader with Northampton and probably the best hooker England have ever had and was sadly missed in the World Cup.
Had he been there, I have no doubt that England would have topped the group, and then, who knows. We sadly missed a leader in a critical position and why he wasn’t introduced following the Fiji game and his ban served…only Stuart Lancaster knows. I have to remind people that in spite of his record he has only had one yellow card in the 66 Internationals that he has proudly represented the Country.
Maybe his level and intensity of rugby is okay at international level but at Club level the referees are not quite up to speed.