Sir Ian McGeechan believes Eddie Jones should turn to Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley as England’s new captain.
Hartley, 29, has 66 caps for England and previously captained his club side the Saints but missed out on the Rugby World Cup due to a suspension which would have seen him miss their opening game against Fiji. McGeechan feels Jones will “move on from Chris Robshaw” and believes Hartley is the standout candidate to lead England against Scotland on February 6.
“For a start he merits a place in the side- and I hope his current concussion problems are not lasting- because England missed him at hooker in the Rugby World Cup,” McGeechan said of Hartley in his column for the Daily Telegraph. “He could have made a real difference in that tournament.
“This situation needs a strong personality and character to lead England. And Hartley is that man. He has been captain of Northampton. It is not as if it is a new role for him. Yes, there is an element of the gamble about it because of Hartley’s disciplinary record, but that is where you back yourself as a coach. You have to give Hartley a very clear understanding of what you expect from him. Yellow cards simply cannot be a part of it.”