Lancaster issues warning to Hartley
May 26, 2013
England boss Stuart Lancaster has stressed that suspended hooker will have to earn a return to his squad © Getty Images
England coach Stuart Lancaster has warned Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley that he will have to earn his trust once again if he is to return to the international set-up.
Hartley was handed an 11-week suspension earlier today after being found guilty of calling referee Wayne Barnes "a f****** cheat" during the Saints' Aviva Premiership final defeat to Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
The hefty ban, his third in just over a year, has all but ended Hartley's hopes of touring with the British & Irish Lions, with the player still able to appeal the ruling, and Lancaster has also suggested it will also impact on his hopes of a return to an England shirt in time for the end of year internationals.
Speaking following England's thumping 40-12 victory over the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday, Lancaster said: "All players are treated the same. Selection is based on form, fitness and the trust that you have that they can operate in the international arena.
"He is no different to anyone else and all that will be taken into account for our next selection. There's competition for places with lads like Rob [Webber], [David] Paice and Rob Buchanan who are all going to push.
"I will pick up conversations with all the players who aren't with us after the tour. I am sure he will be hurting deeply, but that's the way it is: if you transgress, then there's a price to pay.
"Collectively, what we have always talked about in England since I have been in charge is that if you don't have a rigorous approach to being disciplined then you hurt yourself and you hurt the team because you concede points and go down to 14 men that makes it very hard to win international games.
"Collectively we have always enforced that message and that message will be continuously reinforced through this tour and leading into the autumn internationals.
"Decisions will be made about which players you can trust and which you can't around that time. You have to have players who are disciplined on the field and off it, I have always said that.
"However, Dylan has been very good with us when he's with the England squad. He has had a positive involvement in terms of his input and leadership. He has a price to pay now and I am sure he will suffer for it. All players have to curb your frustrations and channel it in different ways on the field. That's what international rugby is about at the highest level."
Reflecting on his side's performance against a lacklustre Barbarians side, Lancaster said: "I'm delighted with the win. I was pleased with the accuracy we showed against a pretty competitive Barbarians team. I felt at 16-0 up that we controlled the first half and I knew if we upped the tempo in the second half we could run away with it, which we did.
"Our big ball carriers did what they should and the defence was disciplined, it gives us a good foundation to build on. I was disappointed to concede at the end but overall it was a good win."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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