World Cup captain Martin Johnson supports Dylan Hartley in Eddie Jones England’s squad for this year’s tournament in Japan. Northampton’s hitter has been sidelined since December due to a knee injury. Fans have bought their Rugby World Cup Tickets and hoping for their favourite players to perform well in the tournament.
Johnson knows what it’s like to win the World Cup and the problems of a failed campaign after leading England at the 2011 tournament in New Zealand. Hartley was part of the team, the former Leicester lock believes that the experience is a key factor for England and expects Jones to choose Hartley as one of his three hookers for Japan.
England failed to stand out as a host nation in 2015, so Jones is under pressure to make the Cup a success. Johnson said, “Trust is an important word at this point. It’s not just about who Eddie trusts on his team, but it’s also important for the players. You must line up against players you trust will perform each time.
There are a lot of players who can activate it from time to time when everything is fine and everyone looks good. But you want players who will perform at 15-10 points with 10 minutes to play. Who do you believe then? And who do you trust, I think Dylan Hartley is one of them.
“I think Eddie Jones is already quite sure on where he is with his squad, but the players have to make sure they back it up. You can’t go into a World Cup camp thinking you are definitely on the plane to Japan, even if you already know you probably are, you have to go and produce the goods.”
The fact that 33-year-old Hartley, is short of training in the game will be a determining factor and Johnson considers that this experience tipped the scales in his favour. “It’s difficult with Dylan because you never know about those injuries, but I really hope we’ll see him at the World Cup in the fall,” said Land Rover’s Johnson’s ambassador. Speaking during the Premiership final supported the national grassroots initiative, the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.
He is a vital part of England’s formation as a very experienced player, and if he arrives in Japan it will be his third World Cup and he will desperately want to do it. England will not fail to want it because you have to take three hookers, I think for rugby everything would be fine because he played so many games in his career. When you’re as experienced as you, you can spend some time outside and come back in and be immediately okay.
“There will be players who come because they did exceptionally or because someone else has an injury, but I do not see that person as someone who has never been part of England team.”
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