Jones comes to Hartley’s defence

Date published: February 24 2017

Eddie Jones has stated that captain Dylan Hartley is their first choice hooker despite the form of substitute number two Jamie George.

George has been in sensational form for club and country of late and his performance against Wales in England’s 21-16 victory has led to speculation whether George might start ahead of Hartley in upcoming fixtures.

Jones has vehemently denied that George will take the captain’s place and added that Hartley’s leadership had made a massive contribution to their impressive winning record.

“It’s great that people have different opinions, but if I listened to the opinions of different people then I wouldn’t be here,” Jones told reporters.

“It’s a fantastic debate, but there was never any debate whether Dylan would be captain or whether he would start the game.

“There will be a time when Jamie does get the spot, but at the moment Dylan is our captain and the first pick on the team sheet.

“We’re really happy with the way Dylan’s going. He’s training hard, working hard – probably never worked harder in his life.

“He’s very industrious with what he does with the team and the team values his captaincy greater.”

Jones went onto say that George was disappointed but that he would definitely will get his chance.

“Obviously Jamie is disappointed. I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t disappointed,” said Jones.

“In fact if he wasn’t disappointed he wouldn’t be in the squad because he wants the spot and at some stage he will get it.”