Eddie Jones On Dylan Hartley – “He’s Not The Greatest Player”
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His own man.
Dylan Hartley’s position as England captain has come under question again over the last few weeks, after a number of poor displays from the hooker at club level with Northampton.
Many believe he should be stripped of the captaincy, simply because there are better players in his position that deserve to start. Notably Saracens and Lions hooker Jamie George, and Exeter’s Luke Cowan-Dickie.
Jones recently sat down for a revealing interview with ITV, and explained his decision. He was asked why does he think there is such a fascination with his captain and has this to say:
“English rugby is quite traditional. And Dylan is not a traditional product of English rugby.”
“I think that always creates a certain interest around him, because of his poor record at club rugby. He’s got a record as a thug. Again that doesn’t sit well.”
“And he’s not the greatest player in the world. But he’s a good tough player and he’s a brilliant captain. And sometimes a team needs that.”
“He’s been great for the team, and at the moment he’s still the best person to captain the team.”
“And there’s other good players around. You’ve got Jamie George (Saracens), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), Tom Dunn (Bath) – all good players.”
“But at the moment, Dylan does a certain job for us that’s important for the team.”
Jones was also asked is picking Hartley a way of making a statement?
“Well he’s his own man, I think that’s important. It was important English Rugby after the World Cup stood up and was their own team, had their own identity and believe in something.”
“I think Dylan’s been good at instilling that belief in the team.”
What do you think? Should Hartley remain on as captain of England? Sound off in the comments.