(Reuters) – England captain Dylan Hartley is free to play in the November internationals after a citing for striking was dismissed, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said on Wednesday.
Hartley was cited for an alleged strike to the head of Clermont Auvergne prop Rabah Slimani in the first half of Northampton’s 24-7 Champions Cup defeat on Saturday for which he was shown a yellow card.
“The disciplinary committee found that Hartley had committed a reckless act of foul play in that he had struck Slimani in the face, however the committee was not satisfied that the offence had warranted a red card,” EPCR said in a statement.
“The citing complaint was therefore dismissed and Hartley is free to play.”
Prop Joe Marler was suspended for three weeks and will miss the first two England tests of the three-match series – against Argentina and Australia – after striking Wasps’ Will Rowlands with his elbow in Harlequins’ 41-10 Champions Cup loss on Sunday.
England and Wasps number eight Nathan Hughes is also facing disciplinary action for an allegedly dangerous tackle on Quins fly-half Marcus Smith. The case will be heard later on Wednesday.
Eddie Jones names his England squad for next month’s internationals against Argentina (Nov. 11), Australia (Nov. 18) and Samoa (Nov. 25) on Thursday.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)