Hartley to brush up on laws after Italy confusion

Dylan Hartley took the blame for England's inability to get their heads around Italy's unconventional tactics last Sunday, but said they will be "tooled up" to deal with any side that adopts the same approach.

The Azzurri baffled England at Twickenham by not committing men to the ruck, ensuring there was no offside line, and gave the Six Nations champions a scare before going down to a 36-15 defeat.

Eddie Jones said Italy's ploy was "not rugby", but it certainly had England flummoxed and captain Hartley insisted they will not be caught out again.

"We have looked at scenarios where if it happens again we can react more quickly," said the hooker.

"Hindsight is a bitch, but if I could go back I would have seen what was happening earlier and dealt with it earlier. It took too long in the first half and that's my fault. It won't happen again.

"For me it's a good lesson to brush up on the laws and know my stuff. I don't actually possess a law book, but maybe I should get one. I looked in my hotel room and there's a Bible next to the bed. I should probably replace that.

"I was trying to figure out what was happening. I was confused. Sometimes I saw one or two blue shirts in a ruck and thought it was a ruck, but it wasn't until I saw Edoardo Gori standing in our passing channel that I [knew] what was going on.

"I questioned the ref, but I couldn't change his mind. So I just rolled with it and we found a way to play around it."

He added: "If it happens again we will be well tooled up to deal with it. It's been addressed, the scenario is covered and we have learned from it. I think we all know that law now.

"It was a surprise tactic and it had full effect. But we scored six tries and took five points and a win against difficult opposition. It's now three wins from three and we move on."

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