Dylan Hartley is set to lead England to Argentina in June after being overlooked for the British and Irish Lions’ tour to New Zealand.
Hartley was the biggest-name omission from the 41-man party announced by Warren Gatland, paving the way for the Northampton hooker to take the helm against the Pumas when Eddie Jones names his squad on Thursday.
Jones previously stated he may look to rest some of his senior players if they miss out on Lions selection, but Steve Borthwick has indicated that Hartley will be present for the two Tests.
“I know Dylan will be very disappointed not to be selected,” said Borthwick, speaking in his capacity as Lions forwards coach — a role he also performs for England.
“He’ll have an England tour to Argentina to work towards. He’ll undoubtedly be very, very disappointed, but what’s struck me is how resilient he is. He’s bounced back from a lot of things and there’s no doubt that’s exactly what he’ll do now.”
England have supplied 16 of the 41 players bound for New Zealand in Lions colours this summer, leaving Jones with significant holes to plug.
The Australian may choose to rest the likes of Mike Brown, Chris Robshaw, George Ford, Joe Launchbury and Tom Wood, giving them a precious breather in a packed calendar.
The Lions absentees and possible exclusion of senior players creates the opportunity to run the rule over some of England’s highly successful under-20 graduates.
Also poised to tour Argentina are prolific try-scoring rugby league convert Denny Solomona, who qualifies for England on residency grounds, and uncapped back-row prospect Sam Underhill.