Full name Dylan Michael Hartley
Born March 24, 1986, Rotorua
Current age 27 years 56 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||Wales v England at Millennium Stadium, Mar 16, 2013 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
If Dylan Hartley appears to have more Sean Fitzpatrick about him than Brian Moore, it's because the England hooker was born and raised in Rotorua, New Zealand, and possesses all of the hard-nosed skills associated with learning the game there.
Hartley was introduced to England's age grade academies during a long holiday with cousins in Sussex. While there he came to the attention of Graham Smith 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 when Budge Poutney, then director of rugby at Northampton, convinced him to move to Franklin's Gardens.
There he was immediately transformed, securing starts in the Guinness Premiership despite his lack of experience in the position. Hartley continued to work his way through the England ranks, winning a call up to the England Saxons squad in 2007.
He was widely expected to play some part in England's build up to the 2007 Rugby World Cup, if not at the tournament itself, but in Aprilof that year he was hit with a 26 week ban for gouging future England team-mate James Haskell and Irish international Jonny O'Connor during a Premiership game with Wasps.
Hartley's actions brought scorn not only from the authorities but also the wider rugby community, who saw his inexperience as little justification for such a dangerous and serious offence.
His return to the Northampton side was in National League One, and a string of strong performances under the tutelage of former England hooker and Northampton forwards coach Dorian West led to his re-emergence as a genuine international level talent.
He returned to the Guinness Premiership with a bang, scoring Northampton's first try of the 2008-09 campaign from the bench against Worcester. After helping the Saints to the European Challenge Cup title later in the season he made his first starts for England, in the two-Test series against Argentina.
Hartley bloomed with the Saints - captaining his side in a losing Heineken Cup final - and became a regular with England, although he was shunted aside by Steve Thompson during their disappointing Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. On his return to the international stage - under Stuart Lancaster's new regime - he again showed his dark side, being banned for biting Ireland's Stephen Ferris. As ever though, he came back and was honoured with the captaincy as England drew their third summer Test with South Africa.
However Hartley was increasingly forced to share the hooking duties with Tom Youngs, who had become England's first choice by the end of the 2013 Six Nations. That though did not prevent him from being named in the Lions squad for their Test series with Australia.