Published: Thu, October 26, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Hartley cleared to play for England after citing dismissed

Hartley cleared to play for England after citing dismissed

If he had been found guilty of the incident, the 31-year-old would have faced a ban of at least two weeks, but the three-man disciplinary panel concluded that he did not warrant a red card for the "reckless" offence.

Hughes' availability will be a relief to England boss Eddie Jones due to his lack of depth at the tail of the scrum with Billy Vunipola out with a knee injury.

He was looking intently towards another Clermont forward as he attempted a ruck clear-out and there was no sign of malice in the way his hand struck Slimani's face.

"The decision to cite Dylan from Saturday's game against Clermont was unjustified", Northampton coach Jim Mallinder said, who attended the hearing.

ENGLAND captain Dylan Hartley and number eight Nathan Hughes have both been cleared to play in the autumn Test series but prop Joe Marler will be suspended for two of the three matches.

England and Wasps number eight Nathan Hughes was banned for two weeks for a risky tackle on Quins flyhalf Marcus Smith in the same game but will be free to face Argentina.

England face Argentina on 11 November, Australia on 18 November and Samoa on 25 November.

"Citings like this do beg the question of whether Dylan is being singled out for what has happened in the past rather than being judged exclusively on Saturday's game".

"When we should be preparing for a crucial league game against Wasps this Saturday, we have instead been distracted by what we believe was an unwarranted judicial hearing".

Marler, was cited for elbowing Wasps' lock Will Rowlands in the Harlequins 41-10 Champions Cup defeat at Coventry on Sunday.

"The citing complaint was therefore dismissed and Hartley is free to play".

Marler was handed a four-week ban but had a week knocked off for pleading guilty and expressing remorse and can appeal the decision. The last thing we want is to go out and start playing on the rules and to start saying to the referee 'it was a cheap shot'.

Like this: