RFU chief has no issues with Hartley captaincy


Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie would have no problem with Eddie Jones naming Dylan Hartley as England captain.

Northampton Saints hooker Hartley is the favourite to be named skipper in a new era under Jones, with Chris Robshaw expected to be relieved of his duties.

Hartley was left out of Stuart Lancaster's Rugby World Cup squad after being banned for headbutting Saracens hooker Jamie George in the Premiership semi-final last May.

The 29-year-old has missed over a year due to suspension during his career and revealed he thought he may have played his last game for his country after being overlooked by Lancaster.

And Ritchie does not see Hartley's poor disciplinary record as being an issue and will leave Jones to make pick the right man for the job.

He told The Guardian: "There is no impediment as far as I am concerned. This is a call for Eddie and the coaching team and there is nothing that would make you say: 'No don't go down this route.'

"There is an element of balance and perspective and, if Eddie thinks Dylan first of all gets a place in the team, and secondly is the right captain, and he thinks that is the best thing to get a winning team you put it into that perspective.

"I don't see it as a contradiction in what we have been trying to do and say about the values of the game."

England start their Six Nations campaign against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 6.