Hartley: I hope I've won place

Duncan Bech

ENGLAND hooker Dylan Hartley hopes he has made a convincing claim to celebrating the 50th cap milestone by starting against a New Zealand team chasing "payback".

A 31-12 victory over Argentina registered a ninth win in 10 matches and extended the run at Twickenham to six games, but once again the performance was unsatisfying.

"At the end of the tunnel I knew there was a starting place against the All Blacks available," said Hartley (inset). "But it was more about doing my job in the team and I think I did that."

Tries from Joe Launchbury, Billy Twelvetrees and Chris Ashton rewarded a purposeful first half that propelled England 24-6 ahead and although Argentina got back into the match, England ran out 31-12 winners.

New Zealand were routed 38-21 at Twickenham last December. "There's no doubt they'll want revenge. They're a proud nation and a proud team and will be looking for payback," Hartley warned.


Wales centre Jonathan Davies has been ruled out of the remaining November Tests due to a chest injury and could miss next year's Six Nations.

Davies sustained the injury trying to stop South Africa's Jean de Villiers scoring his team's first try in Saturday's 24-15 win over Wales in Cardiff.

"If he needs an operation it could be five months," Wales coach Warren Gatland said. "He's pretty disappointed."