Sport : Rugby Union

Hartley: Competition is good

6th February 2013, 05:09pm

Dylan Hartley: 'Competition is healthy'

Dylan Hartley: 'Competition is healthy'

Dylan Hartley is determined to reclaim the England hooker's jersey from Tom Youngs, but admits the fierce competition for places in the squad can only be a good thing.

Hartley replaced Youngs for the final 35 minutes of England's emphatic 38-18 victory over Scotland last weekend, but looks likely to have to satisfy himself with a spot back on the bench for this weekend's clash against Ireland in Dublin.

The Northampton front-rower is happy to wait his turn given Youngs' impressive form, but insists he will continue working hard to keep his Leicester counterpart on his toes.

"For me at the moment it's all about opportunities," he told Sky Sports. "I was injured and out for five weeks and Tom's come in and done a good job, but it's about coming on and playing well when I get my chance and putting a bit of pressure on him.

"Like any team, competition is healthy. If you look at myself and Tom, I think I'm getting the best out of Tom by pushing him at the moment and in the centre partnership it's the same thing there.

"It's important and it's healthy, you get the best out of people that way."

England's centre partnership is another area of intense competition with Brad Barritt, Billy Twelvetrees and the fit-again Manu Tuilagi all vying for selection this week.

Tuilagi seems set to get the nod to start against Ireland, but rookie Twelvetrees has given coach Stuart Lancaster plenty to think about with his try-scoring debut against the Scots and could yet retain his place in the team.

Whoever gets the nod, Hartley is only to aware of the task facing England this weekend and re-iterated the need to make a good start at Aviva Stadium.

"Manu is obviously a big physical presence for us," Hartley continued. "Billy did well last week, he came in and had a fantastic debut, but Manu brings something different to Billy and I'm just thankful I'm not making the decisions this week.

"Two years ago we went out there (Ireland) and got a bit of a hiding, so four us just turning up mentally and physically in that first half is going to be key."

Rugby Union Videos

    Greenwood praises 'warrior' Tindall

    Greenwood praises 'warrior' Tindall

    15-July-2014

    Sky Sports' Will Greenwood shares his memories of playing with fellow England centre Mike Tindall after he announced his retirement.

    Tough decision for Tindall

    Tough decision for Tindall

    15-July-2014

    Iain Balshaw believes Mike Tindall's decision to retire would have been a difficult one to make.

    Mike Tindall retires

    Mike Tindall retires

    15-July-2014

    Mike Tindall is the final member of England’s 2003 World Cup winning team to retire.

    Packer focusing on two fronts

    Packer focusing on two fronts

    14-July-2014

    England women's rugby union team start their World Cup campaign against Samoa in just over two weeks' time. For one member of the squad, training for the tournament isn't the only focus.

    Sky Bet

    Facebook Favourites