LONDON – Former England captain Dylan Hartley blamed artificial pitches for a knee injury that cost him a place in the Rugby World Cup squad and called them unsuitable for the professional game.
Hooker Hartley, 33, led England to back-to-back Six Nations triumphs in 2016-17 but has not played since suffering the injury while representing club side Northampton against Worcester in December.
Hartley said he felt Worcester's artificial pitch at Sixways Stadium was responsible for his injury.
“If there's a platform to show my support for getting rid of artificial pitches, it's here... I don't think you need them,” he told British media.
“I'd played the fortnight before and tweaked my knee in a game, then I played on an artificial pitch the following week and probably playing on an injury didn't help.