Current England and Northampton captain Dylan Hartley has led his country to back-to-back Six Nations titles and is the third most capped player in English rugby history.
- Date of Birth:
- 24th March 1986
- Current Team:
- Northampton Saints (2005-present)
- Previous Team:
- Worcester Warriors (2004 - 2005)
Appointed captain by new coach Eddie Jones in January 2016, Dylan steered England to their first Six Nations Grand Slam in 13 years just two months later after a final-round victory over France in Paris. Later that same year, Dylan led England to their first ever series win on Australian soil with a 3-0 clean sweep of the Tests.
England were victorious in Dylan’s first 17 matches in charge, but failed to set a record 19th consecutive win when losing to Ireland in the final match of the 2017 Six Nations to be denied their second Grand Slam in as many years, though England were still crowned tournament champions.
Dylan, who plays hooker, made his debut for England as a replacement against the Pacific Islands in November 2008, with his full Test debut coming on the 2009 summer tour to Argentina, the first match of which was played at Old Trafford in Manchester. Dylan was a member of the England squad that reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, but he missed out on the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia after being sent off for Northampton in the Premiership final and serving a subsequent ban. Similar disciplinary issues meant Dylan was absent from the England squad for the 2015 World Cup, but he has gone on to become England’s third most capped player of all time.
In the club game, Dylan has been a central figure in a very successful Northampton side since assuming the captaincy in 2009. During his time at the club, Northampton secured their return to the Premiership and Dylan captained the side to the 2011 Heineken Cup and 2013 Aviva Premiership finals, though on both occasions the team came up short. In 2014 under Dylan’s leadership, Northampton returned to Twickenham and were named Premiership champions for the first time after defeating Saracens in a nail-biting final, with the team also winning the European Challenge Cup that same season.
Born in Rotorua, New Zealand, Dylan moved to East Sussex in England aged 16 on a school exchange and quickly impressed for Crowborough RFC before being spotted by the Worcester Warriors academy, where he spent one season before moving to Northampton Saints.