As England prepares for the Six Nations, newly appointed captain Dylan Hartley revealed that he “never prepared for a game so well” as he does for the match against Scotland, because people want him to fail.
The hooker from Northampton had been banned for a total of 54 weeks but was slated by new coach Eddie Jones to succeed Chris Robshaw as captain for the Six Nations tournament.
“The captaincy, the whole media circus and everyone wanting to see me muck up is making me prepared for this game in a good way too,” Hartley said.
“It has been almost a year since I have played for England and, as you get older, you reflect and you get wiser. This is something I am going to cherish.”
He also showed that he was committed to the cause, and removed himself from social media to avoid any distractions. It goes to show how determined he is to keep a lid on his emotions after loads of disciplinary issues in the past.
“Looking back on where things have gone wrong in the past it’s maybe because, when the games are so big, I build something up, so I’m just trying to focus on myself this week.”
“First and foremost I have to know my role and be part of a dominant set-piece. The captaincy thing will just happen,” he said.