Dylan Hartley is going to be put through his paces on Wednesday as he returns from his striking ban. Northampton Saints will attempt to prepare the 30 year old for the strong competition he looks to face in the Six Nations after he has been out since early December with both a ban and injury.

This time out could mean he is rusty when if it comes down to showing his face in the England line up in the approaching competition, and that is not an option in Eddie Jones’ books so he is putting Hartley more than enough tests to ensure he is in prime condition.

Saints will look to replicate the intense conditions which Hartley would face in the competition, which will give Eddie a clear view of whether the hooker is up to the task. This is crucial for Jones as he will need to be sure his men are up to defend the trophy and represent their nation with the upmost quality.

With years of international experience, it is likely that Hartley will be able to mentally overcome the injury, but it all comes down to how the injury treats him, as the same injury could go two completely opposite ways. All Hartley and England can do now is pray for good fortune and medical assistance to help him walk out on the pitch on the 4th of February to face a determined France side.