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England captaincy candidate Dylan Hartley and his 54 weeks of bans

Hooker Dylan Hartley has emerged as the leading candidate to be the first England captain of the Eddie Jones era.

The Northampton player has a long list of on-field disciplinary offences in his past, and he was excluded from England's World Cup plans after a head-butting offence.

Here, Press Association Sport details Hartley's brushes with the rugby union establishment, which have seen him banned for a total of 54 weeks.

:: April 2007 - banned for 26 weeks after being cited for eye-gouging Wasps forwards James Haskell and Jonny O'Connor.

:: March 2012 - received an eight-week suspension after being cited for biting Ireland forward Stephen Ferris' finger while playing for England in a Six Nations game.

:: December 2012 - banned for two weeks after being cited for punching Ulster hooker Rory Best during a Heineken Cup match.

:: May 2013 - sent off for verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes during the Premiership final against Leicester at Twickenham. Received an 11-week suspension that sidelined him for the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia which he had been selected for.

:: December 2014 - sent off for elbowing Leicester centre Matt Smith in the face. Banned for three weeks.

:: May 2015 - banned for four weeks after head-butting Saracens' Jamie George in Northampton's 29-24 Aviva Premiership semi-final defeat to Saracens. As a direct consequence, England ruled Hartley out of their World Cup plans.


From Belfast Telegraph