Northampton Saints suspend Calum Clark

Aviva Premiership Rugby Club Northampton Saints have suspended Calum Clark from playing rugby indefinitely with immediate effect.


Clark was cited and will face a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing next week following an alleged clash during last Sunday’s 26-14 Cup final defeat at Worcester’s Sixways Stadium.


England elite squad member Clark is accused of an act contrary to good sportsmanship for hyperextending Tigers hooker Rob Hawkins’ arm and leaving the player with a broken elbow.


In a statement, Northampton said: “Northampton Saints has conducted an internal investigation regarding an alleged incident during last Sunday’s final.


“Following the completion of this investigation the club’s management has suspended Calum Clark from playing until further notice.


“Northampton Saints will make no further comment about this issue.”


Hawkins is not expected to play again this season as a result of the injury, and Clark, who captained Saints in the Cup final, could face a significant punishment when he goes before the RFU disciplinary board on Monday.


Television footage of the game shows Hawkins turning away in agony from a 21st-minute ruck after an incident that enraged Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill.


“If Calum Clark is deemed to have done it on purpose it’s pretty horrendous,” Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester.


“Something has gone on there, but we will let them look at it and sort it out.


“It’s a pretty poor act. I think it is really out of order, and in my opinion it’s as bad an injury as I’ve seen on a rugby field.”


Saints’ decision to ban Clark means he will miss Northampton’s Premiership clash at home to Wasps on Saturday.


Saints are currently fourth in the table and hoping for a play-off place.

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