MX23RW : Tuesday, September 18 14:13:04
Feb 4, 2017 at 4.50pm UK
England
19-16
France
FT

Dylan Hartley 'in a good place' ahead of Six Nations opener

Dylan Hartley claims that a "brutal" training camp in Portugal has him in top condition ahead of England's meeting with France, two months on from his last outing.

England captain Dylan Hartley has insisted that he is fit and ready for his side's Six Nations opener against France on Saturday after being put through his paces during a "brutal" training camp.

The 30-year-old was handed a six-week ban for striking Sean O'Brien during Northampton Saints' defeat to Leinster in early December, initially making him doubtful for the tournament.

Hartley's suspension was not as excessive as expected, though, and he believes that he is in prime condition for England's title defence despite going two months without competitive action.

"We obviously train at a higher pace [than games] and we learnt we increased that in Portugal by 10%," he told reporters. "I haven't been doing that for the last two weeks - I've been doing it for six weeks on a one-on-one basis.

"It's been brutal but it puts me in a good place. Knowing how hard we prepare gives the team confidence. There's no rust."

Hartley was handed the England armband by Eddie Jones upon taking over in 2015, playing a key part in the Red Rose's 14-match winning streak since then.

Share this article now:
Dylan Hartley of Northampton Saints during the Aviva Premiership match between Northampton Saints and Wasps at Franklin's Gardens on March 27, 2015
Read Next:
Dylan Hartley handed six-week ban
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account