Hartley could have Lions redemption

2017-05-19 09:31
Dylan Hartley (Getty)

London - Dylan Hartley could have a second bite at the British and Irish Lions cherry four years after squandering his last opportunity.

This, after Wales' Ken Owens suffered an ankle injury in training which has put his place on the tour to New Zealand in doubt.

Owens has been ruled out of his Scarlets' side's PRO12 play-off against Leinster on Friday night and is a major doubt for the final next Saturday were the Welsh side to go through.

Lions assistant coach Neil Jenkins admitted when he told The Mirror: ”Hopefully, Ken is going to be fine but he is missing a big game for the Scarlets this weekend. It’s rugby at the end of the day. Stuff does happen and players get injured.”

Lions coach Warren Gatland preferred three other hookers to Hartley when he announced his squad last month.

Many felt Hartley deserved to be included after leading England to a memorable Grand Slam last year as well as Six Nations success.

Hartley shot himself in the foot last time out when he was selected for the Lions' 2013 tour of Australia only to then get sent-off in the Premiership final and suspended to rule himself out of the trip.

Gatland admitted last month the decision to omit the New Zealand-born forward had been a difficult one to take.

Gatland said: “Dylan is very unlucky he’s not in the squad. He’s done a great job for England since he’s captained the team.”

England coach Eddie Jones has named Hartley as his captain for next month’s Red Rose tour to Argentina, but is at the Lions' beck and call should they wish to recall the England skipper.

“We’re excited about Dylan being on tour, and he’ll do a great job as captain,” Jones said at the time. “But if the Lions need a player, they’ll tell us, we’ll give them the player, then work out who’s next [up for England].

“That’s how it’ll work. I’m happy to do that. Our job for this period of time is to serve the Lions. Whoever they need we’ll give them.”

The Northampton hooker, meanwhile, has a Champions Cup play-off game against Connacht on Saturday to focus his mind.

Read more on:    lions  |  dylan hartley  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

After 6 weeks of Super Rugby action, which South African team appears most likely to challenge for overall honours?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.