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Sports

Snubbed Hartley leads England squad for Argentina tour

media England coach Eddie Jones has included 15 uncapped players in the squad to tour Argentina in June. Reuters/Paul Childs

Dylan Hartley was on Thursday named as captain of England rugby union squad's June tour of Argentina less than 24 hours after he was omitted from the prestigious British and Irish Lions party to tour New Zealand the same month.

 

 

Hartley, 31, who skippered England to the 2016 and 2017 Six Nations titles, was one of the most notable absentees from Warren Gatland's 41 man selection which was unveiled amid much pomp and circumstance on Wednesday.

His failure to make the grade four years after his Lions tour to Australia was compounded by the inclusion of his England understudy Jamie George who will compete for the hooker's role against Welshman Ken Owens and the Ireland skipper Rory Best.

However England rugby head coach Eddie Jones has kept faith with Hartley, whose form during the Six Nations was patchy.

"We are looking forward to going to Argentina and winning 2-0," said Jones after announcing the squad. “We have picked the best players we have available."

Gatland named 16 England players for what he has described as the toughest test. Consequently Jones has drafted in 15 uncapped players for the trip to South America.

“The squad have a great opportunity to represent their country and win for England,"  said Jones. "There are a few new faces in the set-up so every training session and team meeting will count.

“The Pumas are a physically aggressive side and they have become very good at playing unstructured rugby. We need to make sure we control the structural part of the game and our defence will play an absolutely crucial role."

The first Test takes place at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario in San Juan on 10 June and the second Test follows a week later at the Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez in Santa Fe.

 

 

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