Haskell says Hartley chequered past has helped him

Haskell says Hartley chequered past has helped him

England have won all eight of their games since Dylan Hartley took over as captain

James Haskell hopes Dylan Hartley's detractors have been silenced by the sensational start to his captaincy of England.

Hartley's appointment by England coach Eddie Jones, soon after he replaced Stuart Lancaster following the World Cup, was seen as a controversial one at the time.

The Northampton hooker had a controversial disciplinary record, which included 54 weeks of suspensions for a range of offences including biting an opponent.

But Jones' decision has proved to be an inspired one as Hartley has played a big part in an unbeaten run that saw England win the Grand Slam and claim a historic series win in Australia.

They conclude that series in Sydney on Saturday, looking to secure a 3-0 whitewash over the Wallabies, and Haskell paid fitting tribute to Hartley in the run-up to that game.

"It's funny that people thought Dylan was a controversial choice. Anyone who is vanilla is never really that successful. Even Tiger Woods proved that," Haskell said.

Former England centre Will Greenwood explains how big an achievement it would be for England to complete a whitewash in Australia

"Everyone looked at him when he was 'the man' and even he had a flawed character. He was the best in the world for a long period of time.

Former England centre Will Greenwood explains how big an achievement it would be for England to complete a whitewash in Australia

"Everyone kind of has that kind of stuff. I'm not saying Dylan's got a flawed character, what I'm saying is that a little bit of edge, a little bit of something about you, is good. It shows that you know both sides of the path.

George Ford says he is taking plenty of confidence from the great preparation England have had ahead of Saturday's match with Australia

"I'm just glad that after the early months, when people were looking for excuses and reasons why it was a bad idea, he's come through and shown that it doesn't matter what you've done and who you are.

"Having a bit of edge and a bit of personality and a bit of whatever it might be, right or wrong, good or bad, can help a team.

Eddie Jones says England have the mental strength and physical resilience to complete a 3-0 series win over Australia

"He's been great for us, he's been great for me. He's very clear in what he wants from me. He uses his leaders. He understands it's about senior leaders, not just about him, and he uses us very well.

"He's very clear, he's definitely the boss, and I really like that. That's what you want from a captain. You want someone to go to you and say 'the buck stops with you'. He speaks well and plays with his heart on his sleeve.

"I know from years of listening to the Northampton boys that he's always led by example; he's already run a real tight ship. He's always been a visible character."

– Entry was posted on June 28th, 2016 by James Haskell

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