Hartley praises England newbies’ desire

England captain Dylan Hartley has praised the energy that the new members of the set-up have brought into camp and says their two-Test tour of Argentina is the perfect opportunity to increase the depth of the squad.

There are 17 uncapped players in the squad, including five members of this season's England U20 squad and Hartley has been impressed by what he has seen in training.

“They’ve brought a lot of energy to training, what I’ve seen since I’ve been in camp, I’ve been really impressed by,” Hartley told England Rugby.

“The youngsters are driving it, they bring a lot of energy to training which is what they should do. If you have to ask a youngster to bring some energy then there is something wrong.”

Head coach Eddie Jones says he hopes that three-to-four of the uncapped group will push for selection once England’s British and Irish Lions contingent, as well as their injured players, are available.

And Hartley says he has noticed a competitive level of intensity in training.

“The energy has been good, really professional,” he said. 

“They are hungry and keen, this is the same team, but new faces and they know what is expected of them. They have a hunger and a desire to stake a claim.”

Hartley knows all about touring in Argentina having first done it while playing for England Under 21s in 2005, he also played there in 2009 and has faced Los Pumas six times in an 84-match Test career.

And he has warned England to expect a stern test from their opponents in June.

Jones’ men face Argentina on Saturday, 10 June in San Juan before travelling to Santa Fe a week later to play the second Test.

“Argentina are a dangerous team, they are always improving and their Super Rugby team is almost their international side,” he said.

“They are a team that has played a lot of rugby together; they are tightly knit off the field no doubt. They are strong, they play a tight game, their set piece has always been good and as we’ve seen in Super Rugby they like to play from anywhere.

He added: “They are an expansive side, can offload the ball, keen to play and can play both sides of rugby so we’ll have to be well prepared for it.”