Dylan Hartley "remorseful" about Sean O'Brien tackle for the wrong reason
The charade is over - Dylan Hartley is England captain.
The Northampton Saints hooker accompanied Eddie Jones to the Six Nations launch in London this morning to put an end to talk that his position within the squad may be under threat.
England coach Eddie Jones said there would be no guarantees about Hartley's place when he announced his championship squad last week. But, with coaches and captains required for the launch at the Hurlingham Club in swanky London, Jones and Hartley arrived. Suited and booted.
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) January 25, 2017
Hartley's ban for his straight arm tackle on Sean O'Brien [below] is now over and he is free to play the Six Nations opener against France.
Saints coach Paul Gustard has been speaking with BBC Radio 5 Live about Hartley and the new World Rugby laws that see contact with the head area punishable by stiffer sanctions, including red cards and increased bans.
"He's been proactive in improving his tackling," said Gustard.
"He was remorseful about the tackle because he let people down."
One would respectfully suggest that Hartley should be remorseful, too, about flattening O'Brien when his back was turned and leaving him in need of treatment.
Hartley, who led England to a Six Nations Grand Slam last year, has been undertaking measures to prevent him from adding to his colourful list of career suspensions.
"Over the last six or seven weeks he's worked hard on conditioning and he's managed to address a couple of things in terms of injuries and I've done a couple of training sessions with Dylan on tackle technique.
"He has asked us and he has asked Mark Hopley at Northampton for extra tackle technique.
"He is proactive in doing extras post training with [Northampton teammate] Teimana Harrison and developing so that sort of incident doesn't happen."
Good to hear he is trying to cut this side of his game out, at least.