No way back for Hartley according to some England fans
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: England’s recent upturn in form after a disastrous 2018 has no doubt pleased their fans. Currently, the team picks itself, as every player seems to be in superb form.
That, therefore, makes it harder for fringe and injured players to get a look in, namely captain Dylan Hartley. That seems to be the thoughts of many England fans on Twitter, as they believe that Hartley’s chances with England are running thin.
The Northampton hooker has had a battle with Jamie George for a number of seasons now. Eddie Jones has largely favoured the 96-cap veteran for his leadership qualities, but the feeling has been that George has been the better player. This was shown when the Saracen was picked for the Lions in 2017, while Hartley missed out.
Two solid performances against Ireland and France whilst Hartley has been injured has meant that George is coming closer and closer to securing that number two shirt. The dynamic tempo that England seem to be playing with currently suits George’s game more than it does Hartley’s, and the 28-year-old can showcase what a threat he is with the ball in hand.
With Owen Farrell growing into his role as England captain, some fans also believe that Hartley’s function in the team grows even more obsolete, as his leadership qualities are not as important.
With Luke Cowan-Dickie performing well for Exeter, and proving to be an able deputy to George off the bench this Six Nations, Hartley has a battle to even make the bench when he returns.
Jones has stuck with his controversial hooker and captain throughout his tenure, but there is clearly a growing feeling amongst the fans that they believe that the tide is turning. This is something that has been coming for a long time, and Hartley’s injury has only exacerbated this.
While it is unlikely that Jones will drop Hartley ahead of the World Cup later this year, the 32-year-old will know he has a battle on his hands to regain that England shirt.
This is what the fans have to say:
Hope Hartley doesnt actually come back… Much prefer George. #ENGvFRA
— Jack (@deeds914) February 10, 2019
Much prefer Jamie George to Dylan Hartley. Gives his all and isn’t a hot head and destined for a cheese slice every game #ENGvFRA
— Danny Arnold (@dannyarnold90) February 10, 2019
You also need to admit that Jamie George is better than Hartley…more dynamic & better scrummager….
— Abiola (@AbiolaHP) February 10, 2019
Bug Courts was fantastic as ever but George really stood out. LCD looked very much at home too when he came on (though Fr were shot by then). Hartley era done now, I feel.
— Bruce Holcombe (@BruceHolcombe) February 11, 2019
I think forget hartley for captain, co captains stupid idea! Give it to farrell👌👌🌹
— Daniel Hockley👨🚒 (@DanHockley) February 10, 2019
Just putting it out there; but does anyone see a way back into the @EnglandRugby team for @DylanHartley? With @J_George2 being outstanding and @1_Dickie making an impact is there a change in the guard? @ITVRugby @bbcrugbyunion @brianmoore666
— Julian Brammer (@JulianBrammer) February 12, 2019
@andNickMullins no I’m not wondering where Dylan Hartley is! England are better without him now. Been excellent for England but no longer first choice at all
— SparkyBorderTerrier (@LordSparky) February 10, 2019
It’s worth remembering the players England can’t pick because of injuries – who of this lot might start in the WC? Joseph, Watson, Teo, Simmonds, Underhill (but please not Hartley and Robshaw – we know how that ends)
— Tim Carlisle (@timcarlislewine) February 10, 2019