You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Owen Farrell tips ‘brilliant’ Dylan Hartley to resume England captaincy

The Guardian logo The Guardian 26/08/2018 Gerard Meagher

Owen Farrell and Dylan Hartley with England teammate George Kruis in 2016.: Owen Farrell (left) and Dylan Hartley (centre) with their England teammate George Kruis in 2016. © The RFU Collection via Getty Owen Farrell (left) and Dylan Hartley (centre) with their England teammate George Kruis in 2016. Owen Farrell has given Dylan Hartley a ringing endorsement to resume the England captaincy after the Saracens fly-half assumed the role on the summer tour of South Africa.

Eddie Jones gave no guarantees Hartley would return to the role when including the hooker in his August pre-season training camp and does not intend to confirm his captain until England convene to prepare for the November matches against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.

Hartley has not played a competitive match since the Six Nations after a long lay-off owing to concussion but did make his comeback off the bench in a Northampton pre-season fixture on Friday.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17:  Dylan Hartley, the England captain, looks on  during the NatWest Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on March 17, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images) © Getty LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Dylan Hartley, the England captain, looks on during the NatWest Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on March 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)  The 32-year-old has captained England in 26 of Jones’s 31 Tests in charge, leading the side to 23 victories, but his international future was questioned during his extended spell on the sidelines.

Farrell led England in the June series defeat by the Springboks and is widely tipped to succeed Hartley eventually in the role permanently but he has welcomed the return of the hooker.

“Dylan is a brilliant captain,” he said. “Dylan has done an unbelievable job over the last three years. He’s got the highest win percentage as England captain, he does so much work, not just on the field but off it as well. I’ve seen it first-hand so I can only speak highly of him.

England's Owen Farrell during the training session at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot. © Getty England's Owen Farrell during the training session at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot. “I enjoyed the [South Africa] tour. Obviously it didn’t go the way we wanted it to results-wise. We’ll have learnt a lot coming into the autumn. We’ll have to make sure it’s a good lesson for us. You don’t want to come away thinking that you’ve learned lessons and expect it to happen. You’ve got to work for it.”

Before England’s autumn campaign Farrell will begin plotting Saracens’ defence of their Premiership title on Sunday away to Newcastle after Mark McCall’s side regained the trophy they had relinquished 12 months previously. They also lost their European title to Leinster.

“It gives you something to sink your teeth into,” he said. “It’s a challenge but the challenge is to get better and improve. Leinster did [the double] last year, we did it [in 2015-16]. Everybody is dying to be involved in both competitions and they’re two massive ones. It’s hard but that’s what makes it special.”

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Guardian

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon