Hooker from Welwyn Garden City called into England’s World Cup squad

PUBLISHED: 12:29 29 May 2015 | UPDATED: 13:06 29 May 2015

Saracens player Jamie George

Saracens player Jamie George

Archant

A Welwyn Garden City-born rugby player has been drafted into England’s provisional World Cup squad following Dylan Hartley’s suspension.

"Dylan will be replaced by Jamie George in the World Cup squad and will not be considered until the suspension is served."

England head coach Stuart Lancaster

Saracens hooker Jamie George, 24, has been added to Stuart Lancaster’s squad at Hartley’s expense.

Ironically, Northampton player Hartley was banned for four weeks for his headbutt on Jamie George during the Premiership semi-final last weekend.

Following the decision of the RFU’s disciplinary panel, Hartley has decided not to appeal the sanction handed down to him.

"Jamie has obviously played well for Saracens this season and I’m sure will work extremely hard to take his opportunity."

England head coach Stuart Lancaster

The suspension rules him out of the two QBE International matches, an away game in Paris over the summer, as well as the opening game of the Rugby World Cup against Fiji on September 18.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “We are obviously very disappointed with the situation that Dylan has put himself in and where that leaves us as a squad.

“I have spoken to him and he knows he has let himself and everyone down.

I would like to apologise to Jamie, Stuart, and my team mates both at Saints as well as England.

Dylan Hartley

“If we selected him in the World Cup squad he would have played no competitive rugby at all and we would be left exposed with only two available hookers in what is a specialised position going into the Fiji game.

“All it would take is one injury (that is not tournament ending) during the week of the Fiji game and we would only have one fit hooker in the squad for our crucial opening game and this would leave us massively exposed.

“In addition, the regulations also clearly state that in our World Cup squad we must have sufficient cover that is suitably trained and experienced in the front row in case of injury.

“This is clearly not the case if we begin the tournament with a suspended hooker and as such we have been left with no choice but to replace him.”

Lancaster added: “It also goes without saying that we need all our players to be able to control their discipline and make good decisions under pressure, the World Cup will clearly require this, and Dylan has not clearly displayed this in this latest incident.

“This is an area that he still needs to address.

“Dylan will be replaced by Jamie George in the World Cup squad and will not be considered until the suspension is served.”

Of the Saracens front-row player, the England coach added: “Jamie has obviously played well for Saracens this season and I’m sure will work extremely hard to take his opportunity.”

Banned Northampton Saints star Hartley said: “I am devastated with what has happened and the position I have put myself and the England team in.

“I would like to apologise to Jamie, Stuart, and my team-mates, both at Saints as well as England.

“What happened is not acceptable and I understand why this decision has been made.”


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