Former England Captain spoke about his early life in Crowborough


Former England Rugby Captain and former Beacon pupil and Crowborough RFC player, Dylan Hartley spoke about his time playing and captaining the England team, during an exclusive event for club members last Wednesday.

Hosted by Club Captain, Ollie Jude Trailor, Dylan talked about his early life in Crowborough and what he is doing since the end of his international playing career.

Dylan grew up in New Zealand and moved to Crowborough at the age of 16, keen to realise his ambition of becoming a professional rugby player. Supported by his family who live locally, Dylan attended Beacon Sixth Form, joining the school’s rugby academy and representing Beacon in interschool games. Within a day of his arrival in the UK, Dylan had joined Crowborough RFC U16s, coached by Beacon teacher, Dave Pass, and received the support and opportunities to which he attributes his success.

Crowborough RFC U18s 2002/2003 – Dylan Hartley 3rd from right on the front row

Internationally recognised as one of England’s most successful rugby captains, Dylan Hartley has won 97 caps, the most by any England hooker, and led England to two Six Nations titles, one of which was a Grand Slam, as well as an historic 3-0 series win against Australia over the course of his professional career.

Although he retired from the pitch as a result of injury in 2019, Dylan remains passionate about grassroots rugby and the opportunities available to young people through sport.

Along with answering a number of specific questions from members of the Club, he also discussed the important role rugby has on the health and wellbeing of local communities, and how Crowborough RFC was hugely welcoming when he first came over from New Zealand and supported his early rugby development.

This topic of conversation aligned perfectly with the significant work Crowborough RFC has been undertaking over the last three years working with local primary schools, Beacon Academy and the Crowborough Leisure Centre, ensuring boys and girls, of any age, can safely get involved in the sport.

During the live event, second in Charge of PE at Beacon Academy, Paul Cottrell, asked what advice he would give a young person looking to succeed:

Post lockdown, senior rugby restarts on 30th March and mini and youth rugby on 11th April.

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