Saints star Hartley vows to keep grafting after missing out on Lions selection

Dylan Hartley is set to lead England in Argentina this summer (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Dylan Hartley is set to lead England in Argentina this summer (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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Dylan Hartley says he will keep his head down and keep grafting after missing out on Lions selection.

The Saints star skippered England to two successive Six Nations titles as well as a series win in Australia, but was overlooked by Warren Gatland for the Lions’ tour of New Zealand.

Ireland’s Rory Best, Wales No.2 Ken Owens and Hartley’s England deputy, Jamie George, were the men preferred for the hooker role.

That means Hartley is set to skipper England in Argentina this summer, with Eddie Jones’ men facing two Tests against Los Pumas in June.

Two Saints players did make it into the Lions squad, with Courtney Lawes and George North both selected.

And Hartley tweeted: “Congrats to all selected, especially @George_North @Courtney_Lawes . Head down, keep grafting, work to be done in Argentina #firgun.”

England are to name their squad for the Argentina trip on Thursday.

And Steve Borthwick, who is forwards coach for England and the Lions, has indicated that Hartley will be present for the two Tests.

“I know Dylan will be very disappointed not to be selected,” said Borthwick.

“He’ll have an England tour to Argentina to work towards. He’ll undoubtedly be very, very disappointed, but what’s struck me is how resilient he is.

“He’s bounced back from a lot of things and there’s no doubt that’s exactly what he’ll do now.”