Dylan Hartley not concerned about British and Irish Lions selection

England captain Dylan Hartley does not believe a Lions call-up would define his career
England captain Dylan Hartley does not believe a Lions call-up would define his career

England skipper Dylan Hartley stated that he is not sweating on thinking about the selection for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in June.

The 31-year-old was one of the leading contender to lead the Lions following his stupendous success with the red rose team but his mixed performance in the Six Nations 2017 tournament has allowed other choices like Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton and Rory Best to join the race.

Hartley has never represented the Lions previously and in 2013 tour of Australia, he was excluded from the squad following his 11-week ban after being found guilty of verbally abusing a match official during the Aviva Premiership final.

Admitting Lions selection is a top honour for any British and Irish player, Hartley stated that it is not something he is losing his sleep over.

"I think it's the ultimate privilege for any players from the (British) Isles but it's not something that I'm overly thinking about or worrying about," said Hartley ahead of Northampton Saints' Premiership clash with Saracens on Saturday.

"I'm just enjoying the game and the other stuff is uncontrollable. I can't comment on it, I don't know what's happening. Either way I am going to be in a good place and I'll embrace wherever I am this summer.

"To go would be one hell of an experience, I'm sure, from what I've heard of previous tours. For the guys that do make the tour it will be the trip of a lifetime, I'm sure. I'm not counting my chickens or getting my hopes up because in a week's time it could all be taken away.

"If it happens it's a bonus and if it doesn't then I have other things I can focus on and look forward to."