Dylan Hartley reveals what he was thinking before that Sean O'Brien tackle
Makes you love him even more...
On December 9, Dylan Hartley went all-in with a straight arm tackle on Sean O'Brien that left the Leinster flanker in a daze. If you have not seen it already, here it is in all its inglorious glory:
Hartley copped an eight-week ban that was reduced to five weeks and then upped to six for his previous indiscretions on the rugby field [seven suspensions totalling 56 weeks].
At Wednesday's Six Nation launch in London, England coach Eddie Jones and Hartley, his captain, addressed the shocking Champions Cup incident. Hartley confessed he was working on his 'tackle technique' while Jones joked about his captain's 60+ weeks of suspensions.
O'Brien's name was not mentioned once. There will be no apology. O'Brien probably could not give a stuff.
Hartley did admit, however, that he feared his England captaincy was in doubt after he was sent off for the reckless hit. He told the BBC what was going through his mind in the seconds before he levelled O'Brien. He said:
"I didn't know Eddie Jones was there [at the game]...
"It obviously went horribly wrong. That walk off the field is never a quick moment. It always seems to drag on for a while.
"Positive, dominant, hard tackle. That's what I was thinking. Obviously the outcome was different to what I intended."
Hartley added that he had worked hard with Northampton Saints defence coach Paul Gustard on improving his tackling. "It's an ongoing thing," he added.
One hopes he gets it locked in before he comes to play Ireland on March 18.