Dylan Hartley Has Some Scathing Words For Rugby & Eddie Jones In Stunning New Book

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

“You’re fu**ed mate.”

Former England captain Dylan Hartley is set to reveal all in a stunning new book that leaves very little to the imagination.

‘The Hurt’ doesn’t come out until September 3 but some exclusive excerpts have been released by the Telegraph this morning along with a fascinating interview by Martin Fletcher with the former Northampton Saints hooker.

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Hartley has always been a controversial figure, to say the least, and he hasn’t left that persona behind in retirement. In the book, he describes his generation of players as nothing more than “crash dummies.”

“My generation of players have been crash dummies for a sport in transition from semi-professionalism,” Hartley writes.

“It is being re-shaped, subtly but relentlessly, by money men, geo-politicians, talking heads and television executives. They treat us as warm bodies, human widgets.”

And when you read Fletcher’s description of their meeting you can’t help but feel there’s truth in what Hartley has written.

“He limps out to meet me in shorts, T-shirt and a baseball cap,” Fletcher writes.

“He has problems with his back, hips, knees, wrists and ankles, he tells me. He tried jogging gently down his drive during the lockdown and could not walk for a week. He put his hip out mowing the lawn. He struggles to complete a family stroll. He has to descend stairs sideways. He sits with his right leg crossed over his left one to stretch his damaged 
hip flexor muscles. He cannot bend or straighten his left thumb. He cannot jump on a trampoline with his four-year-old daughter, Thea, or even play ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ with her.”

The book itself lays rugby bare with Hartley going into extreme detail at times. His description of scrums would make most people feel uncomfortable.

“You hear people wheezing as their wind supply gets cuts off. They emit a long, low groan as the pressure intensifies. Dribble seeps out and runs down their chin.’ By the end of the game ‘your face is inflamed by mud, sand and the opponent’s bristles… everything stings around your neck and jaw from scrummaging. Dirt and sand scour tiny abrasions. Having a hot shower is agony.”

As for Eddie Jones, he credits the England boss with “giving” him a career not “reviving” it when the Australian controversially made him his captain back not long after arriving back in 2015.

“He didn’t revive my career. He gave me a career. I had a sh*t career before that. I had played a lot of games but I had nothing to show for it”

But while Hartley states Jones was the best coach he ever had, he was also the most brutal. Players were terrified of Jones’ training camps according to Hartley which he describes as almost prison-like.

Jones would always defend his controversial captain in public but in private he let rip.

‘That was f*king sh*t, mate. That’s f*king sh*t… you’re sh*t. You shouldn’t be here.’

And as for the manner in which Jones effectively ended Hartley’s career by leaving him out of his World Cup squad last year…

“You’re f—ked, mate,” Jones told him over the phone.

“Even by the standards of the 6am texts he delivers while running on the treadmill, which make the recipient’s balls tighten and the brain melt, this phone call was brutal… He was effectively ending my England career with three words.”

Incredible stuff. You can read the entire article here. Trust me it’s well worth it. There’s so much more.