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England boss keeps faith with Hartley

Stuart Lancaster Credit: PA

England head coach Stuart Lancaster said Dylan Hartley has made the elite squad due to his contrition.

Hartley, 27, is currently serving an 11 week suspension for verbally abusing a referee. Thbe suspension meant he missed the historic British Lions tour to Australia.

Lancaster says he has discussed the matter with Hartley.

"I had a long hard think about it and a long conversation with him. I wanted to be reassured that he understands where the line is, what is right and what is wrong.

"He accepts that and knows he needs a strong start to the season with Northampton as changes can be made with Rob Webber and David Paice pushing hard.

"Unfortunately, we can only have 33 in the Senior EPS but those who just missed out have plenty to offer.

"They are still very much in the international picture and there is flexibility built into the system that facilitates that."

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