England captain Dylan Hartley is frustrated by continued criticism and scrutiny over his disciplinary history. The New Zealand-born hooker has been installed as the new skipper by coach Eddie Jones, despite having previously served 54 weeks-worth of suspensions.
Hartley claimed upon his unveiling as captain on Monday [25 January 2016] that he has conquered his demons from the past, but questions remain over his capacity to keep his cool in a pressure-filled environment. World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson has previously questioned the Northampton forward's capacity to lead. But speaking at the launch of the Six Nations Championship, the 29 year old said. "Yes [I am frustrated], and having repeat answers also answer the same questions. Let's talk about the team and how motivated we are for this first game.
"I am confident [I can lead England]. I am experienced I have done the role for six years. I am fine with the role. I've got good coaches and young players around me and it is exciting. For me, getting in the team and playing as well as I can is the essence of captaincy, play well."
Following the exit of Stuart Lancaster and the stripping of Chris Robshaw as captain, England kick-off their new era under Jones against Scotland at Murrayfield. The Australian coach selected seven uncapped players in his initial squad but only three of them will be involved in Edinburgh, with Elliot Daly and Maro Itoje among those omitted.
"It's a Calcutta Cup game, Scotland are the form side in Europe, they're playing at home," Jones admitted. "We know it will be a tough game up there. Then I'll worry about the games after that. As a kid I grew up watching the Six Nations in Australia, and it was giants of the game playing the game. I've still got memories.
"You've got this tournament that is full of tradition and emotion. The rivalries are immense so to be part of it has been very humbling. At the moment the southern hemisphere are 3-5% better. You can turn that around in eight weeks. Greatness is not defined by the teams in it but by the quality of the tournament."