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Would You Let “Dirty” Dylan Hartley Lead Your Team?

20th Jan 2016
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It is often instructive to test sporting values against those of the accounting profession. If Dylan Hartley applied for a job with their firm, I suspect any self-respecting practitioner would run a mile.

This makes the anticipated decision to appoint him as captain of the England rugby team seems strange.

In the past, rugby was often described as “a game for thugs played by gentlemen”. With all due respect to Mr Hartley and assuming that reports in the media are accurate, a rethink will be required and in future the English game is likely to be known as “a game for thugs played by thugs”.

As a general principle, someone who has been found guilty of eye-gouging (twice), biting, punching, elbowing and head-butting other human beings would expect to be serving a pretty long sentence at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. That is to without even considering such pleasantries as verbally abusing a match official.

However, when such actions are taken in a sporting context, it appears that the penalty for this long list of crimes is to become captain of your country.

One plus point for Dylan Hartley is that he is probably far less tired than his peers, having spent around 10% of his career banned from playing.

One would love to know why the new head coach of the England team thinks that this is a man who can be trusted to lead a team into what is supposed to be a series of sporting contests. On the (much scarred) face of it, there could be almost nobody in the country less well qualified to lead by example.

The only thing that Mr Hartley has not been banned for is using performance enhancing or recreational drugs. Ironically, an offence of that kind that would merely be self-harming will almost certainly have eliminated him from the professional scene for life or at the very least made him a pariah. Look at Justin Gatlin.

As the opening sentence of this article suggests, it can often be helpful to try and think of the situation in terms of our own businesses.

If your practice needed a new managing partner, one wonders whether somebody who had spent disqualified from directorship and lost as accountancy qualification for a variety of offences including shall we say fraud, defalcation of client funds, perhaps picking pockets and abusing a judge would be high on the list of candidates.

It is a fair bet that such a character would not get a job cleaning your offices, let alone in a professional capacity. Yet, the equivalent is apparently the ideal set of qualifications for appointment to become a captain (not of industry) and role model for youngsters up and down the country.

The consequences of this pending decision could potentially be the greatest period of success for the English rugby team since they won the World Cup so many years ago. However, cynics reading this column might wonder whether a much more likely outcome is yet another lengthy ban for some embarrassing offence that was all too predictable.


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Replies (4)

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By mikewade
20th Jan 2016 12:58

Dylan Hartley
The RFU knew what they were getting when they appointed Mr Jones as head coach and gave him a single goal I.e. Win the Webb Ellis Trophy. Dylan will lead from the front, without giving quarter. His is a brutal,physical contest with competitors equally committed facing each other. Horses for courses, would I want Dylan to be a client facing audit partner? No, Would I want to face him on a rugby pitch, leading like minded teammates? No. Do I trust him to lead from the front and leave nothing on the bench? Yes. (But I am a Saints supporter who has watched Dylan, & think that his reputation precedes him & has influenced more than 1 decision by officials)

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By RugbyAlickado
21st Jan 2016 10:29


Its more than strange;Hartley isn't Englands best hooker; Jamie George of Sarracens is, so Hartley not a shoe in for the No. 2 jersey. Its always difficult to captain from the bench. Although with Tom Youngs not even in the squad when he's the 2nd best English hooker it seems Eddie Jones hasn't yet got to grips with England's front row talent- lets hope he's a quick learner!

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22nd Jan 2016 12:40

Eddie Jones is an ex hooker himself

and an excellent coach so he knows exactly what he is doing.

I do not however agree with a foreigner being the head coach.

Plainly just daft to try and equate this potential appointment to an accountancy practice!

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Philip Fisher
By Philip Fisher
27th Jan 2016 13:47

He's Got the Job

Perhaps anyone with kids should now keep them away from the X rated movie that is called the Six Nations.

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