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Eddie Jones: Dylan Hartley can lead England to 2019 Rugby World Cup

David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

England head coach, Eddie Jones, believes Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley can lead his side through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Hartley has had fierce competition with Jamie George for England captaincy, with the Saracens front row being picked for the Lions tour, while Hartley will be on England's tour of Argentina.

There has also been debate on whether or not he should retain the captaincy, with Owen Farrell among those who could step up to the mantle, but Jones insists it is Hartley's to lose.

"There's no reason he can't carry on to 2019," Jones told The Telegraph. "It depends how hungry he is: whether he keeps on being the butcher of Rotorua or becomes the Squire of Northampton. Initially it was a two-year plan.

"After that it was going to come down to whether he's improving as a player and as a captain. He was measurably better during the Six Nations than he was in November. His captaincy has gone up to another level. The preparation he's doing for Argentina would suggest he's going in the right direction. "

Jones named a number of uncapped players for England's tour of Argentina, including scrum-half Jack Maunder, fly-half Alex Lozowski, wingers Joe Cokanasiga and Nathan Earle, centres Sam James and Joe Marchant and versatile back Harry Mallinder. Jones added that it was up to them to put themselves in Jones' future plans.

"I'm prepared to gamble with a number of players to see where they can go," said Jones. "I'm convinced we need more size in the backs. We've got a very small backline -- no players over 94kgs -- and you need some size in your backline to take on the best in the world."