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Hartley ready for new Du Plessis test

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Dylan Hartley (pictured) rates Bismarck Du Plessis as the best number two in the world

Dylan Hartley (pictured) rates Bismarck Du Plessis as the best number two in the world

Dylan Hartley (pictured) rates Bismarck Du Plessis as the best number two in the world

England hooker Dylan Hartley is ready to face up to the might of Bismarck du Plessis once again but insists captaincy will not change his game.

Hartley has been eclipsed by South Africa's renowned number two throughout the current Test series between the countries, in which England trail 2-0 with one to play, but will not shirk challenging him again. And he will do so in the third Test at Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Stadium with the added responsibility of being captain.

Hartley said: "I'm not going to change anything, I am just going to go about my role."

He added: "Bismarck is strong, physical - he's up there probably as number one in the world at the moment.

"But I always enjoy playing against someone who is perceived as better than me. It is a good chance to test yourself."

Hartley, 26, recently served an eight-week ban for biting an opponent but feels it is unfair to question whether he has the temperament for the job because of that.

The Northampton forward said: "I have managed (my discipline) for years.

"You have got to be physical and on the edge and I think I play like that. If you are questioning my temperament or discipline, I don't think there is an issue there.

"There is nothing different, I just carry on doing what I do.

"If Chris (Robshaw) was there I would be the same, I would be vocal, talking about key points, just like there are other voices in the changing room. For me nothing changes."

PA