Warren Gatland open to Dylan Hartley captaining the British & Irish Lions - Ruck

Warren Gatland open to Dylan Hartley captaining the British & Irish Lions

British and Irish Lions chief Warren Gatland believes England captain Dylan Hartley has all the correct qualities to lead the side in New Zealand in 2017.

Gatland, who was named British and Irish Lions head coach for the second time on Wednesday, will be temporarily replaced by Rob Howley, just as he did four years ago.

Gatland praised Hartley’s improved discipline, saying: “He’s matured, and he’s done a great job with England.

“He hasn’t been suspended for a while. That’s a big tick against his name.”

“Dylan has always played on the edge and that has been one of the traits that has made him such a competitor as a player,” said Gatland.

Since being appointed England Captain by Eddie Jones, the Northampton hooker has led the men in white to both a Grand Slam Six Nations triumph as well as a whitewash 3-0 victory against Australia down under.

Gatland said: “It’s easier to select players who are coming in from a winning environment with a lot of confidence. It’s the same when you are picking captains.

“There are players you’re familiar with, that you have been leading already, that has certain advantages. Have you been on previous tours? There are lots of considerations.

“Apart from obvious names, there will be quite a few others [who] come into consideration by the end of the season.”


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