Dylan Hartley to Return to the Pitch in Time for Autumn Tests

by D. Djokic  ·  August 1, 2018

Northampton Saints and England’s hooker, Dylan Hartley is back on the pitch. The 32-year-old New Zealander has been out of the game since March this year due to a head injury. Hartley suffered a concussion during England’s Six Nations clash with Ireland. Despite being disappointed for taking an extended break until now, England’s captain decided to take the off-pitch time to fully recover from the injury.

Before suffering a head injury in March, Hartley had two concussions in 2016 that forced him to withdraw from the field. At that point, another head injury could cost Harley his career. For a short period of time, England’s captain even considered retiring from rugby. Two years later, Hartley suffered a head injury for the third time. This raised the question of whether he would be able to return on the pitch before England’s June tests.

“Selfishly, I could have lied to myself and everyone else and said ‘I’ll tour,’ and I could have got on with it but I had to make a hard decision not to,” said Hartley.

Four months have passed since Hartley last captained England. The Northampton Saints’ hooker missed the end of the last season, as well as England’s defeat in South Africa. Now, the time has come for England’s second most capped player to release Owen Farrell of his captain duties.

Namely, during Hartley’s absence, Farrell was in charge of steering Eddie Jones’ men in the right direction. He was the best betting sites’ favourite to take over from Hartley. On March 10th, Jones selected Farrell to be the captain of the team. The Saracens’ fly-half got to try himself out in the captaining role for the first time in his career.

As the 2019 World Cup is approaching and Hartley is ready to return to the pitch, England’s head coach, Eddie Jones is eyeing the 32-year-old New Zealander to return to his position as the team’s captain. There are still no official statements about Hartley’s return to captaining position. We, however, expect the RFU to soon deliver the news on this topic.