Johnson questions Hartley England captaincy credentials


Martin Johnson has questioned whether Dylan Hartley is the right man to captain England given his chequered disciplinary record.

Northampton Saints hooker Hartley emerged as the favourite to skipper his country following the appointment of Eddie Jones as head coach.

Jones is due to name his first squad on Wednesday and it remains to be seen if he opts to stick with Chris Robshaw as captain or appoint a new leader.

Hartley missed the Rugby World Cup after being banned for headbutting Saracens hooker Jamie George and has served over a year in suspensions during his career.

Johnson led England to World Cup glory in 2003 and the 45-year-old has his reservations over whether Hartley, who missed Northampton's Premiership defeat at Leicester on Saturday due to a rib injury, is a suitable candidate to captain at international level.

He said: "He's not getting picked for his club team. He was injured on the weekend having been picked on the bench.

"What is his [disciplinary] record? Would I have an issue? It does not matter what I think but it probably is an issue.

"I went to the sin-bin more than a few times but I don't think I cost my team a game. There probably is an issue, isn't there?"