Owen Farrell has hailed Dylan Hartley’s leadership qualities ahead of the hooker possibly returning as England’s captain for their November internationals.
Hartley has not played a competitive match since the middle of March having been sidelined due to concussion, but England head coach Eddie Jones included the 32-year-old in his August pre-season training camp.
In Hartley’s absence, Farrell skippered his country in South Africa, where England lost two of the three Tests.
Jones has said he will not decide who will lead England against the Springboks in November until nearer the time, yet Farrell has given his rival for the captaincy role a glowing reference.
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“Dylan is a brilliant captain,” Farrell told reporters.
“Dylan has done an unbelievable job over the last three years. He’s got the highest win percentage as England captain, he does so much work, not just on the field but off it as well.
“I’ve seen it first-hand so I can only speak highly of him.”
Discussing England’s Tests in South Africa, Farrell added: “I enjoyed the tour. Obviously it didn’t go the way we wanted it to results-wise. We’ll have learnt a lot coming into the autumn.
“We’ll have to make sure it’s a good lesson for us. You don’t want to come away thinking that you’ve learned lessons and expect it to happen. You’ve got to work for it.”
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