Saints hooker Dylan Hartley will captain England for the 2016 Six Nations
Wasps James Haskell backed the appointment of the combative 29-year-old
The way Hartley conducts himself must change, according to Lewis Moody
Dylan Hartley has been named as England’s captain for the Six Nations by head coach Eddie Jones at a press conference this afternoon.
Jones, who replaced Stuart Lancaster following England’s disappointing World Cup campaign finally revealed that the Northampton hooker Hartley, who had been linked to the role for weeks now, will succeed Chris Robshaw as captain despite his poor disciplinary record that has resulted in over a year of inactivity.
Jones looking forward to working closely with Hartley
Jones said: “I know it will be a very proud moment for him, his club, his family and friends when he leads England out at Murrayfield.
“As a former captain of Northampton Saints and someone who has a lot of experience playing for England I have every faith he will lead the team tactically and passionately.
“English rugby is indebted to Northampton to have produced such a fine player.”
“Dylan is an honest, hardworking bloke and I admire his aggressive and uncompromising approach to playing rugby.
“Together with Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard, we think he has all the qualities needed to lead this group of players.
“We look forward to working very closely with him to build a successful England team.”
Hartley speaks of his excitement
“It is a huge honour to captain England and a very proud day for me and my family,” said Hartley.
“I’m really excited about the challenge ahead but in reality leading this squad of players will not fall just to me.
“It is essential for the success of this team that we quickly develop and establish a strong leadership group. There are a number of guys in this squad who will all have important leadership roles to play so we can take this team forward.
“There is a lot of young talent and potential which is great to see. Our focus over the next two weeks is to work hard and prepare for the Scotland game. Playing at Murrayfield will be a huge challenge and one we are all looking forward to.”
Haskell backs the appointment
Wasps James Haskell backed the appointment of the combative 29-year-old as Chris Robshaw’s successor, stating he “could not care less” about his past indiscretions.
“If you are the best guy for the job you lead by example and you play. Your track record doesn’t matter,” Wasps captain Haskell said.
“There might be a few people with stiff collars who will get upset, but that’s the nature of the game. You live and die by the sword.
“Dylan is a good man and a good player. You know he will give 100 per cent and I could not care less what he has done before.
Moody not convinced
Former England captain Lewis Moody though is not convinced and thinks it is a matter of time before his former team-mate crosses the line again.
“Dylan plays hard but every so often he strays past the mark,’ Moody told The Mail on Sunday.
“I was certainly never one who was afraid of flirting with the boundaries between off and onside and obviously I was sent off at Twickenham.
“But when I did have those issues I learnt from them. When I was sent off in 2005 I went to see a psychologist and never had another red or yellow card in my career.
“I don’t see that with Dylan. I see him as a constant offender who is only ever going to put his side in potentially awkward situations. As far as I’m concerned, you want your captain to lead by example on the pitch and off the field.
“I love the tenacity Dylan approaches the game with. It’s just he can’t quite control the emotion.”