Dylan Hartley brutally tells Zach Mercer to stop sulking about international rejection - Ruck

Dylan Hartley brutally tells Zach Mercer to stop sulking about international rejection

Dylan Hartley, the ex-England hooker, has advised Zach Mercer against dwelling on his exclusion from the Six Nations squad by Steve Borthwick.

RUCK’s 2024 Guinness Six Nations content powered by ISUZU.

Mercer’s reaction to being left out of England’s squad hasn’t been positive. He expressed his discontent last month, implying that Borthwick hasn’t given him a fair chance.

The discontented Gloucester player, who aimed to earn more England caps upon his return to the Gallagher Premiership, is now reportedly considering a return to the Top 14 league.

“If you look at New Zealand in comparison, there’s five super teams and not all five number eights can play for the All Blacks. There are always players that are going to miss out, but you don’t hear them sulking,” said Hartley.

Zach Mercer of Gloucester Rugby on the break during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Gloucester Rugby and Harlequins at Kingsholm Stadium on October 14th, 2023 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Phil Mingo/PPAUK/Gallagher)

“Ultimately, Steve Borthwick has a way that he wants to play the game, Eddie Jones had a way that he wanted to play the game and they both pick players to fit that.

“I would not have had a career if every coach I played for didn’t prioritise set piece. I was typically five to eight kilos heavier than most hookers and my set piece was very steady.

“It’s one of these things. Zach Mercer plays a great game and I love him as a player and he’s a great bloke, but how does Steve Borthwick want the balance of his back row to look?

“I’m not sure that Zach Mercer fits into that. Ultimately, Borthwick will have his favourite player for number eight and he can’t pick them all.”

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Finn Russell and Owen Farrell are the two highest-paid rugby players in the world

Breaking records and raising eyebrows, these players are leading the charge in the financial stakes of rugby union. Here’s the rundown of the top earners in the game according to The Scotsman:

Siya Kolisi – £850,000

The South African skipper boasts an impressive resume with two Rugby World Cup triumphs and a commendable third-place finish. At French powerhouse Racing 92, Kolisi has been commanding a salary of £850,000, but with the recent arrival of Owen Farrell, he might be eyeing a bump in his paycheck.

Siya Kolisi, Captain of South Africa during the Test Match between New Zealand and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on August 25th 2023. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Faf De Klerk – £900,000

De Klerk, another key figure in South Africa’s World Cup-winning squad, has made his mark in Japan. Playing for the Yokohama Canon Eagles, he’s banking a cool £900,000 annually, showcasing the global appeal of rugby’s top talents.

Faf de Klerk of Sale Sharks during the Gallagher Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and Sale Sharks at Sandy Park on 6 March 2022. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK