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Dylan Hartley sharpens tackling technique

Press Association logoPress Association 21/01/2017

Dylan Hartley has been forced to sharpen his tackle technique in response to the suspension that will leave him desperately short of match fitness for England's Six Nations rugby opener against France.

Hartley is next week set to be confirmed as skipper for the grand slam defence despite being out of action since December 3 after being charged with striking when on club duty for Northampton against Leinster.

The hooker jeopardised his position as England captain after catching Sean O'Brien with a swinging arm from behind and coach Eddie Jones has identified what he views as a flaw in execution.

"It's about better technique. We have spoken to Dylan and he has done numerous skill sessions to pick it up. He is not the only one with that flaw," Jones said.

"If Dylan has his arms in close, then he does not hit a bloke like that. We are consistently reinforcing good technique."

World Rugby's clampdown on dangerous tackles is forcing players to aim lower in defence, but Jones insists that then creates its own risks against France at Twickenham on February 3 due to their off-loading.

"France have improved in the understanding of how they play. I have been really impressed with them," Jones said.

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