Eddie Jones sports enormous black eye at Six Nations 2017 launch – Telegraph.co.uk
When Hartley was asked if he had changed his game in response to the third red card of his career, Jones interrupted: “He’s had 60 weeks off mate, he’s a world expert!”
Hartley has been practising his defensive technique during England’s training camps in Brighton and Portugal this month on the instruction of Jones after felling O’Brien with a clothesline from behind.
“The much-documented tackle technique – I’ve been working very hard with (defence coach Paul Gustard) on that,” Hartley said.
“We always want to tackle low, but there are times when as a second man low isn’t an option.
“It’s about for me, my arms, bring tighter to my body, following through with those, then shoulder, then arm.
“A few technical things, but the sanctions have changed and we’re looking after player safety. As players we’re seeing a lot more incidents in games now, so we have to adapt.”
Hartley feared that his time at the head of the Grand Slam champions might have been brought to a close by the tackle on O’Brien that received widespread condemnation.
When asked if he felt he had jeopardised his place as captain, Hartley said: “Of course. There is a responsibility. I worry when I am in the environment. I am aware every week if you don’t perform then your place is up for grabs. It is never a given. I have worked hard and feel focused.
“I always reflect and do it most days. Being part of this group is a privilege. We want to be the best team in the world and to be a part of that and feel it is going somewhere is a privilege. I have had a good reality check.”