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24th Jan 2015

Dylan Hartley is seeing a sports psychologist to curb his ‘red mist’

The Saints hooker is due to face Ireland on March 1

Patrick McCarry

Finally, sense prevails

Just like Luis Suarez opted after his third nibble on a footballer, Dylan Hartley has drawn the line at five serious, ban-worthy misdemeanors.

The Northampton Saints and England hooker is, according to former international teammate Lewis Moody, visiting a sports psychologist to deal with anger-management issues. Moody told the BBC, ‘I know Dylan has been seeing a psychologist. The worrying thing is he is still having these moments of red mist.’

Moody, who earned the nickname Mad Dog during his playing days, reveals he also attended sessions with a psychologist, in 2005, following his sending off against Samoa, on Test duty. He added, ‘For me, I ensured my first move in future would be to look at the referee, because my next action would be decided by him. That simple process made sure that I never had another yellow or red card in my career.’

Hartley was named in Stuart Lancaster’s England squad for the Six Nations but will need to be aware that another disciplinary incident could lead to a lengthy ban. Moody commented, ‘It is frustrating to watch and I’m sure it’s frustrating for him that it keeps happening, so there’s got to be a way for him to deal with his emotion and to be able to control it.’

Hartley’s latest ban was for three weeks after he elbowed Matt Smith, in December 2014. SportsJOE has also gone to the trouble of compiling the definitive Hartley rap-sheet here.

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