DYLAN HARTLEY will continue to lead England for the rest of 2017 whether or not Warren Gatland judges him worthy of a place in his Lions squad this summer.

Dylan Hartley to remain as England captain regardless of British Lions future

The Northampton hooker was yesterday given a vote of confidence by England coach Eddie Jones despite being substituted early in the second half again during the failed Grand Slam bid in Ireland.

Jones would not comment on whether Hartley’s playing form was worthy of Lions selection but believes his leadership makes him untouchable for England at present.

“Dylan is an outstanding captain for us. There’s no reason why he won’t continue to do a super job,” said Jones.

“It’s like when Mike Brearley captained the England cricket team; everyone questioned him, then he won the Ashes and no one questioned him.”

Jones will reassess the captaincy after the November internationals but thinks Hartley, who turns 31 on Friday, can still perform to the standards required to lead England at Japan 2019.

“There’s three parts in a World Cup project – the first two years, the second two years, and the three months leading into the cup. We don’t have to make decisions on players until at least the end of the first two-year project,” said Jones.

‘He was better than he was in November and there’s no reason why, the next time he comes in, he can’t be better than he was this time.”

Posted on; Express.co.uk>>

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