Dylan Hartley’s Disciplinary Decision In Full
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Dylan Hartley has learned his fate following today’s hearing.
The England captain was cited for his swinging arm tackle on Sean O’Brien in Northampton’s game with Leinster on Friday. The hooker was only on the pitch for a few minutes when the challenge occurred and received a red card for the offence.
After a lengthy hearing today Hartley has received a ban of just six weeks for the incident, despite his poor disciplinary record. The ban sees him clear to play in the 2017 RBS Six Nations for England.
This latest ban brings Hartley’s total amount of time suspended up to a staggering 60 weeks for seven different incidents.
Here’s the full release from EPCR:
Disciplinary Hearing decision ‐ Round 3
Dylan Hartley, has been suspended for six weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London today (Wednesday, 14 December 2016) arising from his club’s European Rugby Champions Cup, Round 3 match against Leinster Rugby at Franklin’s Gardens.
Hartley was sent off by referee, Jerome Garces (France), for striking the Leinster flanker, Sean O’Brien, in the 58th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (a).
Law 10.4 (a) Striking
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (a), Striking a player with a hand, arm or fist carries the following sanction entry points ‐ Low End: 2 weeks; Mid‐Range: 5 weeks; Top End: 8 to 52 weeks
An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Simon Thomas (Wales), Chairman, Rhian Williams (Wales) and Marco Cordelli (Italy) heard submissions from Hartley, who pleaded guilty to the offence, as well as from the player’s legal representative, Richard Smith QC, and the Northampton Saints Team Manager, Paul Shields. The Committee also heard evidence and submissions from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
In upholding the red card decision, the Committee found that the offence was at the mid‐range of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected five weeks as the appropriate entry point.
Taking into account Hartley’s poor disciplinary record, the Committee added two weeks to the sanction and then reduced the sanction by one week due to the player’s guilty plea before imposing a suspension of six weeks.
Hartley is free to play on Monday, 23 January 2017. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision