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Dylan Hartley escapes ban, Joe Marler suspended for two of England's November Tests

Meanwhile, the hit that left Wales and Dragons flanker Ollie Griffiths with a broken jaw was worth a nine-week ban.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

NORTHAMPTON AND ENGLAND hooker Dylan Hartley has had the citing complaint against him thrown out today, leaving him free to play.

The 31-year-old had been cited by Scotland’s Douglas Hunter under Law 10.4 (a), striking with the hand, for an incident in which he was shown a yellow card in the weekend loss to Clermont.

The disciplinary hearing in London today found that Hartley’s  flailing arm connection with prop Rabah Slimani was indeed reckless, but adjudged that it was not worthy of a red card and so faces no further sanction.

Source: Raw Rugby/YouTube

At the same hearing in London today, Harlequins prop Joe Marler was handed a three-week ban for striking in the Champions Cup loss to Wasps.

Marler was cited by Ireland’s Murray Whyte for an incident involving lock Will Rowlands. The judicial panel ruled the offence worth of a red card, but determined the strike was with the arm as opposed to the elbow and imposed a mid-range sanction of four weeks. The ban was then cut by one week on account of Marler’s guilty plea and expression of remorse.

The prop’s suspension will run until 19 November, meaning he will miss England’s November Tests against Australia and Argentina, but will be back in ample time for Harlequins’ Champions Cup back-to-backs against Ulster.

Ollie Griffiths Griffiths in action against Connacht this season. Source: Ian Cook/INPHO

Enisei STM centre Dmitrii Gerasimov was issued a nine-week suspension for a shoulder barge that resulted in a broken jaw for Dragons flanker Ollie Griffiths.

Gerasimov’s offence was deemed worthy of a top end sanction and the disciplinary committee handed the Russian a 12-week ban.

The punishment was subsequently reduced to a nine-week suspension due to there being ‘no aggravating factors’ and Gerasminov’s clean disciplinary record.

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Sean Farrell

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