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Colour chart to keep Hartley in check

DYLAN HARTLEY will use a mental colour-chart to keep his discipline in check during the Six Nations after admitting the trust of the England coaches cannot last forever.

Hartley is aiming to convince head coach Stuart Lancaster he deserves an immediate recall for Saturday's game against Scotland, having missed the autumn internationals through injury.

That has meant addressing, once again, a volatile streak which has led to bans for gouging in 2007 and for biting Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris in last year's Six Nations.

On that occasion, forwards coach Graham Rowntree provided a glowing character reference for Hartley, who went on to captain the country against South Africa in June.

But the Northampton hooker served another ban over Christmas for striking Ulster's Rory Best in a Heineken Cup defeat.

"It has been addressed by all the coaches - they've had a word with me," Hartley said.

"There will come a point when they can't stand by me. They have put faith in me, especially people like Graham and Stuart who have said some good things about me.

"I understand that trust can only go so far. I wouldn't expect them to stand by me if I continued to break that trust. It has been addressed by the coaches."

Hartley has been working on his hotheadedness since his six-month ban for gouging, initially with revered psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters.

When he reflected on the ban for his clash with Best, Hartley realised he had allowed his vital pre-match mental routine to slip.

"This is an ongoing thing for me. It goes back to what Steve Peters told me -- that every week has to be the same preparation," Hartley said.

"I have a pretty little colour-chart (in my head) which describes this for me. It is to stop you acting on emotion without thinking."