In the immediate aftermath of Dylan Hartley’s sending off for striking Sean O’Brien on Friday night, it quickly became apparent that the hooker had severely impacted upon his chances of captaining the Lions next summer.
Although some have attempted to defend the England captain, Hartley was full of intent when he swung his arm in O’Brien’s direction.
Indeed, after the game Jim Mallinder more than accepted the decision to send Hartley off, and even criticised the hooker during his post match interview.
— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) December 9, 2016
This morning the odds of Hartley captaining the Lions next summer widened considerably, and he is now the fourth favourite to lead the tourists with bookmakers.
Among the high profile names to quickly castigate Hartley was Brian O’Driscoll, with the former Leinster, Ireland and Lions captain questioned the hooker’s suitability to lead the tourists in New Zealand.
Given his previous indiscretions, few could argue with O’Driscoll’s contention, but there is a great deal of rugby to be played.
Very solid performance from @leinsterrugby tonight with room for improvement. Mindless from Hartley. Lions Captain???!
— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) December 9, 2016
Anyone actually questioning the Hartley red card look at his reaction to it. Not a murmur of complaint from him. He knew what was coming.
— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) December 10, 2016
This week on the Oval Office Podcast, we speak with Section Paloise number eight Paddy Butler, and hold an in depth conversation with Geraint Powell about what the future holds for regional rugby in Wales.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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