Full name Dylan Michael Hartley
Born March 24, 1986, Rotorua
Current age 27 years 355 days
Major teams Northampton Saints, England
Height 6 ft 1 in
Weight 242 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2011-2011||4||1||3||0||0||0||0||0||3||1||0||75.00|
|Test debut||England v Pacific Islanders at Twickenham, Nov 8, 2008 match details|
|Last Test||England v Wales at Twickenham, Mar 9, 2014 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Few would doubt Dylan Harley's ability on the pitch, but his career has been increasingly overshadowed by a serious of clashes with authority which have at times threatened to derail it completely.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Hartley possesses all of the hard-nosed skills associated with learning the game there. Introduced to England's age grade academies during a long holiday in Sussex, he came to the attention of the Worcester Warriors academy and was persuaded to make his switch to England permanent.
At the time Hartley was playing as a loose-head prop, and finding opportunities limited due to the depth of talent in New Zealand he jumped at the chance to join the Premiership side's academy. His conversion to hooker came in 2005 with a move to Northampton, and call-ups to England Saxons (2007) and the full England side (2008) followed.
His England debut might have come earlier had he not been ruled out of the 2007 World Cup because of a 26-week ban for gouging future England team-mate James Haskell and Irish international Jonny O'Connor during a Premiership game. On top of the punishment came widespread opprobrium from the wider rugby community.
He bounced back to secure a regular starting place in the England side although he was shunted aside by Steve Thompson during the disappointing 2011 Rugby World Cup. He again returned and again clashed with authority when banned for biting in a Six Nations game in Dublin.
Once more he came back and was honoured with the captaincy in England's third Test in South Africa, and once more he blotted his own copybook when handed a two-week ban after being found guilty for punching in a Heineken Cup tie.
Although internationally he was increasing playing second fiddle to Tom Youngs, he nonetheless won selection for the 2013 British & Ireland Lions tour. Then on the big stage of the Aviva Premiership final he was sent off for calling the referee a 'f***ing cheat'. The inevitable ban that followed ruled him out of the tour and cast serious doubts over the international future of a man who clearly struggles with his self control.