ENGLAND HOPEFUL CALUM CLARK has received a 32-week ban from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) after he pleaded guilty to deliberately hyperextending the arm of Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins during the first half of this month’s LV Cup final.
A former captain of the England u-21s, Clark was cited for the incident after television replays revealed him pulling repeatedly on the hooker’s right arm while the pair lay immobile at the base of a ruck.
Hawkins was subsequently treated for a broken elbow and will require an operation to repair ligament damage.
Speaking to the Guardian in the advance of the hearing, Leicester’s director of rugby Richard Cockerill described the flanker’s actions, if intentional, as “pretty horrendous”.
Clark was anticipating promotion to Stuart Lancaster’s England elite squad, but now looks set to miss the side’s summer tour of South Africa and the autumn internationals. He will also be expected to pay Hawkins’s medical costs.
Northampton have issued the 22-year-old with a lengthy suspension, but are thought to be contemplating an appeal of the RFU’s verdict.