After a year in which Dylan Hartley led England to 13 consecutive victories, a growing number of commentators expected the Northampton Saints hooker to be handed the captaincy of the British and Irish Lions by Warren Gatland.
Although Hartley had accumulated many detractors over the course of his career, it appeared as though the 30 year-old had been tamed by Eddie Jones and closed the door on his past indiscretions.
Indeed, on December 7 Labrokes became the second bookmaker to suspended betting on Hartley being made Lions captain following England’s clean sweep this autumn.
However, after being sent off for striking Sean O’Brien during Friday night’s European Champions Cup encounter between the Saints and Leinster, Hartley immediately fell from being a shortening 2/1 favourite with Paddy Power on the December 8, to a 6/1 outsider this morning.
— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) December 9, 2016
In turn, Sam Warburton is now the leading candidate to fill the captaincy at 7/5, with Rory Best seeing his odds shorten to 6/4.
Alun Wyn Jones is now ranked as the third favourite at 10/3, with Maro Itoje chasing the leading pack at 16s.
Top 10 Candidates According to Paddy Power:
Sam Warburton 7/5
Rory Best 6/4
Alun Wyn Jones 10/3
Dylan Hartley 6/1
Maro Itoje 16/1
Conor Murray 20/1
Dan Lydiate 33/1
Leigh Halfpenny 40/1
Chris Robshaw 40/1
Mike Brown 40/1
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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