26 Jan 2016

Who is Dylan Hartley?

1:49 pm on 26 January 2016

Eddie Jones has appointed New Zealand-born Dylan Hartley as England's captain, just two weeks before the start of the Northern Hemisphere's Six Nations competition.

Hartley replaces Chris Robshaw as captain, following the fallout within English rugby after their dismal performance at last year's Rugby World Cup.

Dylan Hartley at the announcement of his role as the new England Rugby Captain

Dylan Hartley at the announcement of his role as the new England Rugby Captain Photo: PhotoSport

The 29-year-old hooker has played rugby in England for almost a decade but many people might not realise that England's newest captain is actually a New Zealander.

Born and raised in Rotorua, Hartley moved to the UK in 2002 following a trip to one of England's age grade academies in Sussex.

Originally a loosehead prop, Hartley made the switch to hooker in 2005 and picked up a Premiership contract with the Northampton Saints, whom he has played for his entire professional career.

He was first called up to represent England Saxons in 2007 before joining the full English side in 2008.

Hartley's debut for England could have come sooner had it not been for a 26-week suspension for eye-gouging two Wasps players in a Premiership match.

And the forward's rap sheet doesn't end there - over his career, Hartley has been suspended for more than a year - 54 weeks in total.

Dylan Hartley playing for England.

Dylan Hartley playing for England. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hartley's been suspended for biting, punching, swearing, elbowing and headbutting, but the 29-year-old said he was ready to turn a new leaf and lead by example as England captain.

Hartley has joined a growing list of rugby players to be born in New Zealand but captain another national side.

Last year, Burwood-born Chiefs back-rower Michael Leitch captained the Japanese side that upset South Africa at the World Cup, while fellow Christchurch-born forward Dean Mumm captained Australia for the Wallabies' clash with Uruguay in the group stage at the World Cup.

Hartley's first run as captain will come next weekend against Scotland in England's opening Six Nations match.

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