Dylan Hartley Reveals What He Was Thinking When He Hit Sean O’Brien


Dylan Hartley is currently serving a six-week ban for a reckless challenge on Leinster’s Sean O’Brien.

The England captain had only been on the pitch a few minutes when he wildly swung on O’Brien, injuring the Ireland back-row in the process. He was subsequently sent-off and ended up being handed a six-week ban.

The ban brought his career total up to a whopping sixty weeks, but the England skipper will be available in time for their opening round clash with France in the Six Nations.


Speaking to BBC 5 Live Sport, Hartley revealed he just wanted to make an impact in the game, but obviously it didn’t go according to plan.

I didn’t know Eddie [Jones] was there.

I came back to Northampton and wanted to make a positive impact in a big game for the club.

It obviously went horribly wrong. That walk off the field is never a quick moment. It always seems to drag on for a while.

At the Six Nations launch, given the nature of the challenge, the hooker was understandably asked- what was he thinking?

Positive, dominant, hard tackle. That’s what I was thinking. Obviously the outcome was different to what I intended.

Part of the directive from Eddie [Jones] was that my tackling technique needs to improve because I have a tendency to have my arms high in a tackle.

I’ve worked very hard with Paul Gustard with that. It’s not something that finishes now that I’m back playing, it’s an ongoing thing.

Have a look at the challenge again below and we’ll let you decide.

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