England Captain Dylan Hartley Reflects On His Appalling Disciplinary Record

“I wouldn’t change it”

England and Northampton captain says he wouldn’t change his appalling disciplinary record. The hooker’s most recent ban saw him spend 6 weeks on the sidelines for a strike on Ireland’s Sean O’Brien with brought his career total to 60 weeks.

In an interview with Clare Balding for BT Sport, that statistic was brought to the attention of the live audience, with Hartley claiming he wouldn’t change it. Hartley says he’s not proud of some of the bans, but believes some were unfair.

There’s a mixture of things there, not all that I’m proud of, there’s some things [on the list] that I’d like to contest one day, but it’s not the time or place to do it.
But I don’t think I’d change it. It’s not something I’m overly proud of carrying but I don’t think I would be the competitor, the person I am – and I think you mature over time as well – and I wouldn’t be sat here if those things hadn’t happened to me.

Dylan Hartley’s disciplinary record

April 2007 — banned for 26 weeks for eye-gouging Wasps forwards James Haskell and Johnny O’Connor.

March 2012 — received an eight-week suspension for biting the finger of Ireland back-row Stephen Ferris in the Six Nations

December 2012 — banned for two weeks after being cited for punching Ulster hooker Rory Best during a Heineken Cup match.

May 2013 — sent off for verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes during the Premiership final against Leicester at Twickenham. Received an 11-week suspension that prevented him from taking his place on the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.

December 2014 — sent off for elbowing Leicester centre Matt Smith in the face. Banned for three weeks.

May 2015 — banned for four weeks after head-butting Saracens’ Jamie George in Northampton’s 29-24 Aviva Premiership semi-final defeat to Saracens. As a direct consequence, England ruled Hartley out of their World Cup plans.

December 2016 — sent off for striking Leinster flanker Sean O’Brien with a swinging arm. Suspended for six weeks.

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