Eddie Jones Backs Hartley to Lead lions
The England coach Eddie Jones, believes his captain Dylan Hartley, left, would be ‘a great candidate’ to lead the Lions.
Jones, has described Dylan Hartley as having all the right qualities to be a successful leadar
Dylan Hartley has all the right qualities to lead the British & Irish Lions for the tour of New Zealand next year, the England head coach, Eddie Jones, has said.
The Northampton hooker and England captain, who has 74 caps, led his country to a first Six Nations grand slam in 13 years in March and followed that up with amaiden series win in Australia. “I think he would be a great candidate. He has clearly done a good job leading England, he has got the ability to develop relationships with people, and therefore he would be a great candidate for the Lions job,” Jones told the BBC.
“He is very good with the players in making sure they understand standards we want in the team, and making sure they understand the values that are important. “He continues to do that on a daily basis and that is so important for a captain.”
Billy Vunipola, the England vice-captain, believes Hartley’s approach is in tune with that of Jones, adding that the hooker has the respect of all his team-mates. “I feel he is a clone of Eddie,” he said. “They are both brutally honest and you have a lot of respect for that because you know where you stand. He will always put the team first. If he thinks you aren’t pulling your weight he will tell you, and if you are doing a good job he will tell you. He is very inspirational, and a lot of boys follow him in that respect.”
Hartley’s career has been chequered with disciplinary issues and he missed the World Cup last autumn having been dropped from the squad by the former coach, Stuart Lancaster, for headbutting Saracens’ Jamie George during a club game.
Hartley, who is 30 and made his England debut in 2008, has missed more than a year of his career through suspensions, but has proved an inspirational leader for club and country. Two years ago he was the Northampton captain when they won their first Premiership title.