On This Day in 2013: Dylan Hartley sees red and misses out on Lions tour

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Dylan Hartley was shown a very costly red card on this day in 2013.

The Northampton captain had steered his side into the Premiership final after finishing fourth in the regular season courtesy of a thumping semi-final win over league leaders Saracens.

Hartley was due to play in the May 25 final against Leicester before travelling with the British and Irish Lions to Hong Kong two days later.

Dylan Hartley was no stranger to a red card during his career
Dylan Hartley was no stranger to a red card during his career (Joe Giddens/PA)

Hartley’s history of disciplinary problems was well known and the England hooker lost his cool just before half-time after Leicester pushed in the scrum too early.

Despite earlier warnings, Hartley issued a volley of abuse – he always maintained it was not directed at referee Wayne Barnes but Barnes saw otherwise and issued him a red card.

Leicester went on to win 37-17 and, instead of heading to Hong Kong, Hartley went home and was subsequently issued with an 11-week ban.

Dylan Hartley captained England to Six Nations glory but never played for the Lions
Dylan Hartley captained England to Six Nations glory but never played for the Lions (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Speaking about the incident two years later, Hartley said: “I felt like a pariah and I cemented a reputation that I am resigned to never losing. I do not think anything worse can happen to me in rugby.”

Hartley captained England to the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2016 but did not make the Lions squad the following year and retired in 2019.

Watch: The impact of the Lions