Thursday, December 24, 2015

5 reasons why Dylan Hartley has to be the next England captain

1 Discipline

Dylan Hartley's discipline is in fact arguably better than Robshaw's.  While many cite Hartley's indiscipline as a reason why he could be a liability, the length of Hartley's bans have been getting gradually shorter over his career. In 2007 he was banned for 26 weeks for eye-gouging friend James Haskell, but his next ban 5 years later in March, 2012 for biting was just 8 weeks. A clear improvement.
The next ban was for just  2 weeks in December 2012 for punching and elbowing (which hardly count).
By May 2013, Hartley discipline was near impeccable, and only through a miscommunication with referee Wayne Barnes in the Premiership final ended up with an 11 week ban.
His next two bans came in December 2014 - 3 weeks for an elbow that was probably accidental - and in May 2015 -  for head butting Jamie George -  an effort that earned him a 4 week ban.
Over the same period Chris Robshaw has never been banned. So Hartley's discipline  is getting better while Robshaw's is stagnating.

2 He's actually a New Zealander

This hardly needs an explanation. They're better at rugby. Duh. 

3 Hartley is a good guy

We know this because he has supported charities and said it in interviews before. You callin' him a liar?

4 He's not the obvious choice

A quick and easy way for a new coach to show that he thinks differently and quite possibly knows more about rugby then you is to pick the non obvious choice. Why pick someone that's the obvious choice? Boring. 

5 He passes better than Robshaw

Believe it or not, some people believe that the ability to pass a rugby ball is important, though it's long since been out of vogue in English rugby.