English rugby legend Dylan Hartley has had a successful career, of that there is no doubt. He achieved the honour of captaining his nation in 2016, and duly led his team to their first Six Nations Grand Slam in almost 20 years, as well as a win record of 85 per cent. In terms of international appearances, he is only behind Jason Leonard and Ben Youngs, with 97 caps. All in all, a stellar and enviable experience.
Life at the top, though, is rarely as easy it looks. Behind the scenes, Hartley was suffering from mental and physical strains that threatened to consume him. His recent autobiography, The Hurt, delves into those moments of struggle and provides a truly fascinating insight into the high-pressure life of a professional sportsman.
He learned a lot of lessons over the course of his career, and he’ll be sharing the most important of them at this year's Esquire Townhouse @ Your House with Breitling, in a special interview filmed at the Breitling Townhouse on Regent Street.
The 34-year-old former Northampton Saints hooker talks about how setbacks can be a catalyst for growth and resilience. On that note, he discusses the long list of broken bones that he suffered in his career, in particular the knee injury that forced him out of the Japan World Cup in 2019 and ultimately led him to retire from the sport prematurely; how it impacted him mentally, and how he has dealt with leaving rugby after so many years in the game.
Hartley’s lessons aren’t just for rugby fans who haven’t yet given up on their dream of lining up for England. His insights on leadership, handling failure, work ethic and finding inspiration are applicable to anyone who wants to achieve their true potential and protect their mental wellbeing in the process.
The film will be live to watch on this page from 3:30pm on Saturday 17 October, and then available to view again whenever you like.
For information on all the other talks at this year's Esquire Townhouse, as well as highlights and behind-the-scenes content, make sure to sign up to our newsletter.
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