Warren Gatland: Dylan Hartley 'jumped off cliff' at Twickenham

Last Updated: 27/05/13 9:26pm

  • Share:
Warren Gatland: Hartley went too far

Warren Gatland: Hartley went too far

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland says Dylan Hartley went "to the edge of the cliff and jumped off" when he was sent off in the Aviva Premiership final.

Hartley was suspended for 11 weeks for calling referee Wayne Barnes a "cheat" at Twickenham, an act which cost the Northampton hooker his place in the Lions squad.

And Gatland believes that Hartley will not appeal against the verdict.

"To play the game you have to play on the edge, but unfortunately he's gone to the edge of the cliff and jumped off it. That's the only analogy I can draw."
Gatland on Hartley

Ireland's Rory Best was called up to replace the England star with the 37-man squad flying off to start the tour in Hong Kong on Monday.

"Dylan's a young man who has made an unfortunate error," said Gatland.

"To play the game you have to play on the edge, but unfortunately he's gone to the edge of the cliff and jumped off it. That's the only analogy I can draw.


"I called him on Sunday and left a message on his phone. He left a message on my phone today thanking me for the call.

"I was looking forward to working with him and really feel for him. He's made a poor judgement. Hopefully he can put this behind him and move on.

"It's my understanding that he won't be appealing the decision, but that's entirely up to him. He may decide to do that in the next day or so."

Many felt that Ulster and Ireland hooker Best was hugely unlucky not to be selected in the original squad ahead of Hartley.


And Gatland agrees that it was a difficult call.

"That decision had been going through my head as well," he said. "I have no problem admitting that post-selection I had that discussion with myself and said 'Did I make the right call?'

"Everything that's been written and people saying how unlucky he's been is 100 per cent correct because I had those doubts initially myself.

"When we made the selection, the debate on hooker took by far the longest on and was he really unlucky.

"As soon as Dylan was ruled out he was the obvious choice, it was not even something we had to talk about.

Watch every Lions game live only on Sky Sports. To sign up or upgrade click here

  • Share:


Hartley 11-week ban

Dylan Hartley: Warned by Stuart Lancaster

Lancaster warning for Hartley

Dylan Hartley will have to earn Stuart Lancaster's trust before winning his place back in the England team.

Dylan Hartley: Out of Lions tour

Best replaces Hartley on tour

Dylan Hartley has been replaced by Rory Best in the Lions squad after the Northampton hooker received an 11-week ban.

Dylan Hartley sits on the bench after his red card at Twickenham

Hartley could miss Lions tour

Dylan Hartley will find out on Sunday if he will go on the Lions tour after his sending off at Twickenham.

Related Profiles


Most Popular


Wondrous Wilkinson

Wondrous Wilkinson

From Newcastle to Toulon, via Australia; Sky Sports looks back at the remarkable career of Jonny Wilkinson.

Raising the bar

Raising the bar

Mike Brown is looking to take his game to another level during the QBE Internationals.

Greatest Lions XV

Greatest Lions XV

The voting has been fierce but we can finally reveal our Greatest Lions XV of the modern era.