Hartley - Bring on Scotland
Northampton skipper ready to do battle at Twickenham
Last Updated: 13/03/11 6:21am
Hartley: Ready for Scots
England hooker Dylan Hartley claims he is ready for anything Scotland throw at him at Twickenham on Sunday.
"I wouldn't say I know all the history between the two countries, but as I've watched Braveheart I understand a bit of it"
Dylan Hartley Quotes of the week
Hartley was the subject of goading by Wales coach Warren Gatland ahead of England's RBS Six Nations opener at the Millennium Stadium.
And now Scotland coach Andy Robinson has singled out the Northampton captain after claiming he "milked penalties" at the scrum.
But Hartley welcomes the stick he has received throughout the tournament and believes it is only strengthening his character on the field.
The 24-year-old said: "I feel I've made quite a significant step as a Test player, I've removed a question mark.
"To go down to Wales and do what we did there gave me self-confidence. It showed everyone I can do it.
"Every line-out people wanted to see me miss, people wanted to see me crumple. People wanted to see me get carded.
"There weren't too many people saying good things. I read it. I saw it.
"That was as much pressure on a personal level as I'd ever had. It was good to come through it and I feel proud I turned it into a big positive."
New Zealand-born Hartley admits he is not an expert on Anglo-Scottish history but is aware Scotland would love nothing more than to win the Calcutta cup clash and deny England the Grand Slam.
But the former Worcester hooker believes Martin Johnson's side are capable of handling the pressure at Twickenham this weekend.
He added: "Every team we've played against hates us and wants to beat us so passionately. We expect it from every team now.
"I wouldn't say I know all the history between the two countries, but as I've watched Braveheart I understand a bit of it.
"I think they'll be very competitive. As a player I get people coming for me a lot of the time so it's not too hard for me to understand it.
"As a team we take it on the chin and we're happy with how things are going."