Dylan Hartley
Birth nameDylan Michael Hartley
Date of birth (1986-03-24) 24 March 1986 (age 37)
Place of birthRotorua, New Zealand
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight110 kg (17 st 5 lb; 243 lb)[1]
SchoolRotorua Boys' High School
Beacon Community College
Rugby union career
Position(s) Hooker
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Northampton Saints
Correct as of 7 November 2019
International career
Years Team Apps (Points)
England Saxons
Correct as of 7 November 2019

Dylan Hartley (born 24 March 1986) is a former England Rugby union captain who represented England and Northampton Saints.

Hartley was the captain of England from January 2016 until the end of his international career in 2019. He is England's most capped hooker of all time, earning his first cap in 2008. Hartley captained England to a Grand Slam in 2016, the first time that England had achieved this since 2003, then back-to-back Six Nations titles and notably a historic 3-0 series win in the 2016 Cook Cup against Australia. In 14 domestic seasons with Northampton Saints Hartley captained the Saints for 8 years through their most successful period in the club’s 130 year old history.

Early career

Dylan Hartley was born in Rotorua, New Zealand.[2] He attended Rotorua Boys' High School

Although Hartley was born and grew up in New Zealand, his mother being English therefore automatically made him England-qualified.[3] With this in mind Dylan set his sights on playing professionally in England. At 16 he left his native New Zealand and headed to England where he attended Beacon Academy. Within a year, Worcester Warriors had offered him an academy place and at 17 years old he joined and embarked on what ended up being a 16 year professional career with Northampton Saints and England Rugby


Domestic career

Hartley joined Worcester Warriors' academy and represented the senior side once in the 2004–05 European Challenge Cup.[4] Hartley joined the Senior Academy of Northampton Saints in the summer of 2005.[5]

Hartley started in a 2006–07 Heineken Cup quarter final victory over Biarritz Olympique.[6] That season, Northampton were relegated from the Premiership.[7]

The following season Northampton won the EDF Energy Trophy[8] and secured promotion from the RFU Championship.[9] Hartley started for Northampton saints as they defeated Bourgoin in the final of 2008–09 European Challenge Cup.[10] On 22 July 2009, Hartley was made Northampton Saints captain, replacing Bruce Reihana.[11]

Hartley captained the losing Northampton sides in the 2011 Heineken Cup Final and also the 2013 English Premiership Final. In that final, Hartley was sent off for verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes.[12] Hartley won the 2014 Premiership final against Saracens.[13]

On 17 December 2014 Northampton announced that Hartley had extended his contract for a further three years, despite a more lucrative offer from French side Montpellier, with Hartley citing his desire to remain eligible for England selection as a deciding factor.[14]

Hartley helped Saints secure a place in the Champions Cup for the 2017/18 season as the side saw off Stade Francais in the European Champions Cup play-off final to take the last spot.[15]

On 7 November 2019, Hartley announced his retirement from rugby due to a knee injury that had kept him side-lined for all of 2019.[16]

International career

Hartley represented England at age groups U18, U19s and U21s and in 2007 made his debut for the England Saxons, against Italy A.[17]

Hartley received his first cap for England during the 2008 end of year rugby tests against the Pacific Islanders.[18] Hartley made his first start for England against Argentina at Old Trafford in June 2009.[19]

Hartley was named as the new England captain under Eddie Jones for the 2016 Six Nations Championship, replacing Chris Robshaw. England went on to win the Grand Slam and win back to back 6 Nations titles.[20] Hartley then captained the team who achieved England's first ever away series win against Australia in June 2016, and during the series became England's most capped hooker of all time. Under Hartley’s leadership England went on to win a world record equalling run of 18 test victories in a row.

Hartley was selected for the British and Irish Lions 2013 tour to Australia but missed it due to being banned after his red card sending off in the Premiership Final.[21]

International tries

As of 7 July 2019 [22]
Try Opposing team Location Venue Competition Date Result Score
1  New Zealand London, England Twickenham Stadium 2010 Autumn Internationals 6 November 2010 Loss 16 – 26
2  Australia Melbourne, Australia AAMI Park 2016 Tour of Australia 18 June 2016 Win 23 – 7
3  New Zealand London, England Twickenham Stadium 2018 Autumn Internationals 10 November 2018 Loss 15 – 16
4  Japan London, England Twickenham Stadium 2018 Autumn Internationals 17 November 2018 Win 35 – 15

Disciplinary problems

Major instances

Hartley had a large number of disciplinary problems in matches amounting to a total of 60 banned weeks in his career.[23]

In April 2007 Hartley was banned for 26 weeks for making contact with the eye of Wasps forwards James Haskell and Jonny O'Connor. The ban dealt an even bigger blow for Hartley as his hopes of joining the England World Cup squad were dashed and his club Northampton Saints were relegated in the same week.[24] Hartley saw his second ban come 5 years later in March 2012, 8 weeks for biting the finger of Ireland forward Stephen Ferris in a Six Nations match.[25] Then in December 2012 Hartley was banned for two weeks for punching Ulster hooker Rory Best in a Heineken Cup match.[26] In May 2013 Hartley was sent off in the Aviva Premiership final against Leicester and banned for 11 weeks after being found guilty of verbally abusing a match official.[27] This cost Hartley his place in the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia.[28][29]

In December 2014, Hartley was banned for three weeks for an elbowing offence in the match against Leicester Tigers. His elbow made contact with the nose of winger Matt Smith. In May 2015, Hartley was found guilty of making contact with the head of opposite number Jamie George in the semi-final English premiership loss to Saracens at Franklin's Gardens. He was found guilty by the citing commissioner and banned for four weeks, putting his England Rugby World Cup 2015 selection in jeopardy, as he would be unavailable for the first week of the tournament.[30] In December 2016, Hartley was banned for 6 weeks having caught Leinster Rugby player Sean O'Brien with a swinging arm to the back of the head in a European Champions Cup game.[31]

Weeks banned


  1. ^ "RFU Official Site of the RFU, Governing Body of Rugby Union in England". web page. Rugby Football Union. Archived from the original on 12 September 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b Schofield, Daniel (4 February 2016). "From the New Zealand sticks to England captain - the making of Dylan Hartley".
  3. ^ "The 'Homegrown' England XV: Do England Rely on Foreign-Born Talent?". 8 January 2017.
  4. ^ "European Shield 2004/05 Match overview Yorkshire Carnegie VS Worcester Warriors". STATBUNKER. 16 June 2008. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Academy signs England U19s duo Dylan Hartley and Alex Rae". Northampton Saints. 5 May 2005. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  6. ^ "Biarritz 6–7 Northampton". BBC Sport. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  7. ^ "Premiership final day". BBC Sport. 28 April 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  8. ^ "Saints seal league and cup double". BBC Sport. 14 April 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  9. ^ "Northampton saints return to top flight". BBC Sport. 22 March 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  10. ^ "Northampton 15–3 Bourgoin". BBC Sport. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  11. ^ "Saints confirm Hartley as captain". BBC Sport. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  12. ^ Kitson, Robert (26 May 2013). "Dylan Hartley's red card shatters Lions dream and Northampton hopes". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2022 – via theguardian.com.
  13. ^ "Premiership final: Saracens 20-24 Northampton Saints". BBC Sport. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2019 – via bbc.co.uk.
  14. ^ "Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes get Northampton Saints deals". BBC Sport. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  15. ^ "Northampton Saints play Stade Francais Paris in the European Cup at Franklin's Gardens on 26 May 2017 at 19:45".
  16. ^ "Dylan Hartley: Ex-England captain retires from rugby due to knee injury". Sky Sports. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  17. ^ "Saxons outclass Azzuri at Sandy Park". RFU. 2 February 2007. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  18. ^ Hodgetts, Rob (8 November 2008). "England 39–13 Pacific Islanders". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  19. ^ "England 37–15 Argentina". BBC Sport. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  20. ^ Mairs, Gavin (20 March 2016). "England coach Eddie Jones hails 'likeable rogue' Dylan Hartley". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  21. ^ Cleary, Mick (18 June 2016). "Australia 7 England 23: Heroic tourists make history with their first series win down under". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  22. ^ "Player Information - Dylan Hartley". ESPN. 7 July 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  23. ^ "Dylan Hartley's disciplinary record, 60 weeks worth of bans in detail". ESPN. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Saints withdraw Hartley's appeal". BBC Sport. 25 April 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2007.
  25. ^ "Dylan Hartley receives eight-week ban for biting Stephen Ferris". BBC Sport. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  26. ^ "Northampton Saints' Dylan Hartley given two-week ban". BBC Sport. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  27. ^ "Lions 2013: Dylan Hartley set to miss tour after sending off". BBC Sport. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  28. ^ Rees, Paul (25 May 2013). "Leicester win Premiership final as Northampton's Dylan Hartley sees red". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  29. ^ Rees, Paul (28 May 2013). "Dylan Hartley decides not to appeal suspension and will miss Lions tour". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  30. ^ "Four-week ban for headbutt for England hooker". BBC. 26 May 2015.
  31. ^ "Dylan Hartley handed six-week ban for striking Leinster's Sean O'Brien". The Independent. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017.