• Hartley to lead England

    Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley has been confirmed as England's new captain ahead of the Six Nations.

    Hartley, who has earned 66 Test caps since making his debut in 2008, takes over the captaincy from Chris Robshaw, who led the side during last year's disappointing World Cup campaign.

    ‘It is a huge honour to captain England and a very proud day for me and my family,’ Hartley said. ‘I’m really excited about the challenge ahead, but in reality leading this squad of players will not fall just to me. It is essential for the success of this team that we quickly develop and establish a strong leadership group.’

    Coach Eddie Jones said Hartley was thoroughly deserving of this appointment, with his first match as England skipper set to be against Scotland at Murrayfield on 6 February.

    ‘I know it will be a very proud moment for him, his club, his family and friends when he leads England out at Murrayfield. As a former captain of Northampton Saints and someone who has a lot of experience playing for England, I have every faith he will lead the team tactically and passionately. English rugby is indebted to Northampton to have produced such a fine player.'

    Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images