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."