England head coach Stuart Lancaster has revealed that he carefully considered whether to keep Dylan Hartley within the senior squad.
Hartley was issued a straight red card in the Aviva Premiership Final for abusing match referee Wayne Barnes, consequently receiving an 11-game ban and missing the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.
The Northampton Saints captain has a chequered disciplinary record that has often blighted his career.
However having spoken to Hartley, Lancaster was reassured that the hooker with 47 caps was aware of the boundaries on the field and would address his issues.
"I had a long hard think about it and a long conversation with him," said Lancaster.
"I wanted to be reassured that he understands where the line is, what is right and what is wrong.
"He accepts that and he knows he need a strong start to the season with Northampton as changes can be made with Rob Webber and David Paice pushing hard."