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Saints not looking to rush back England Captaincy contender Dylan Hartley

  • Chris Robshaw will not continue as England captain under new head coach Eddie Jones
  • Dylan Hartley a leading contender to replace him
  • The 29-year-old is not expected to return for Northampton Saints’ European Champions Cup tie against Racing Metro on Friday
  • Hartley was dropped from the Rugby World Cup after being banned for a head-butt
Dylan Hartley, who has emerged as the strong favourite to replace Chris Robshaw as England Captain under new head coach Eddie Jones, is not expected to return for Northampton Saints’ European Champions Cup tie against Racing Metro on Friday.

The hooker, who captained Northampton to the Premiership title in 2014, is still suffering symptoms from a concussion sustained against Saracens last month.



However, Hartley was dropped from the Rugby World Cup 2015 squad after being banned for a head-butt and this was just  the latest in a long list of disciplinary issues, who has been suspended an incredible total of 54 weeks in his career

Nevertheless, the 29-year-old’s total of 66 England caps makes him one of the most experienced players available to Jones heading into the Six Nations, which starts on 6 February.

Harlequins flanker Robshaw, who was widely expected to lose his role, Captained the side throughout Stuart Lancaster’s reign with little success.

Joe Launchbury of Wasps and Maro Itoje of Saracens have been tipped as a future skippers, but it is thought Jones wanted a more confrontational character with leadership experience to skipper the side and Hartley is certainly that.

If it is confirmed, it will mean Jones has binned the goody-two-shoes priorities that underpinned Stuart Lancaster’s reign and is trying to get back to the win at all costs that made battling England sides so great in the past.