Dylan Hartley to return to England set-up after concussion

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live rugby union reporter
Dylan Hartley in action for England
Skipper Dylan Hartley has been capped 93 times by England

Dylan Hartley will return to the England set-up this weekend as he continues his comeback from concussion.

Regular captain Hartley has not played since March, missing the end of the season and the June series defeat in South Africa.

But the hooker will be part of a three-day training camp in Teddington.

While Owen Farrell has led the side in his absence, 93-cap Hartley remains firmly in head coach Eddie Jones' plans for next year's World Cup.

Hartley has been carefully monitored by Northampton's medical team over the summer, and has been training with the rest of the Saints squad.

His problems with concussion have cast doubt over his future in the game, but this call-up for the pre-season camp shows there is cautious optimism he can be at full fitness for the new season.

The England get-together starts on Saturday and, as well as rugby drills, will involve strategic planning and commercial duties.

After suffering a single defeat throughout 2016 and 2017, England's form has dipped alarmingly in 2018, with just three victories in nine matches.

But Jones and the RFU remain confident the side can arrest their slump before the global showpiece in Japan.

England's autumn campaign features a rematch with the Springboks on 3 November, before games with New Zealand, Japan and Australia on consecutive weekends at Twickenham.