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FEATURE – First contact: Dylan Hartley’s lineout throw

18 February 2014

  • RFUtv features England players’ first contributions
  • Dylan Hartley discusses the importance of his first throw in a Test match

“We talk a lot about the importance of the first hit, the first contact. You cannot underestimate the impact of the crowd, the roar, the singing, the sea of white. That’s our first contact. That’s our competitive advantage.”

Stuart Lancaster is crystal clear on the importance of the opening exchanges in Test rugby.

Dylan Hartley throws into a lineout at training

Photo: Getty Images

Ahead of England’s opening home match of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations against Ireland next Saturday, RFUtv looks at the first contributions made by England players in their specialist areas of expertise.

In the third of a six-part series this week, Dylan Hartley discusses the importance of hitting his lineout jumper when he first throws in during a Test match and how this barometer of his game allows him to grow into the other demands he must get right.

The Northampton Saints hooker, who has captained England in South Africa, found his target a perfect 20 times from 20 throws in the 20-0 RBS 6 Nations victory over Scotland at Murrayfield in England’s last Test match.

How much trust does Hartley place in his caller Courtney Lawes and how many consecutive lineouts do they agree on before a the start of a Test match? And on the risk vs reward scale, does the 27 year-old prefer throwing to the front or the back?