"Strong first impression" - Dylan Hartley takes on first director of rugby role - Ruck

“Strong first impression” – Dylan Hartley takes on first director of rugby role

Since retiring in 2019, Dylan Hartley has moved to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to take over as Director of Rugby of the Dubai Sharks.

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It’s a massive appointment for a club that apparently came close to going out of existence just four years ago due to a lack of players. This year the club finished third in the table.

“He has made a really strong first impression,” said Matthew Pewtner, the former Wales sevens international who is the Sharks’ head coach.

“It is great to be able to work with someone who is really fresh out of the professional game, having been at the highest level for a long time.

“He brings a different insight, different to what these lads are used to, but different in a really positive way. All the wisdom he brings is just invaluable. His experience speaks for itself.”

“Borthwick’s bolters” – 5 uncapped stars set to be named in England’s World Cup training squad

While the usual England favourites will no doubt make the cut, several in-form and uncapped players are also set for a call-up.

#1. Matt Rogerson (London Irish)

The forward joined the Exiles from Jersey Reds ahead of the 18/19 season.

He made his Premiership debut for Irish in November 2019 against Wasps and has since been a regular in Declan Kidney’s side.

He made 26 appearances in all competitions in 2019/20, scoring twice in the Gallagher Premiership.

Rogerson was named the Club captain for the 2021/22 season, going on to lead the side to their first appearance in the Heineken Champions Cup for the first time in a decade after an eighth-placed finish in the Gallagher Premiership. 

That year, he made 193 successful tackles (23rd overall in the Premiership) and 380 attacking ruck arrivals (seventh overall in the Premiership). 


Rogerson was also in the top five of ball carries (152) with the third-most carry metres into contact at the Club (681), with his 19 tackle breaks only bettered in the back-row by new signing Tom Pearson (26).

His 380 attacking ruck arrivals that term was only beaten by Rob Simmons (383) at London Irish.