Northampton hooker Hartley cited for striking

England and Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley has been cited for alleged foul play during Northampton’s Heineken Cup loss to Ulster on the weekend.


Heineken Cup organisers ERC have announced that Saints captain Hartley was reported by match commissioner Jean-Claude Legendre for striking his opposite number in the Ulster team Rory Best.


ERC Officials have yet to reveal when and where the hearing will be held but if found guilty Hartley could face a suspension of anywhere between 2 and 52 weeks.


“Hartley is alleged to have struck Ulster Rugby forward, Rory Best (No 2) with his arm, during the second half of the match at Franklin’s Gardens.” said ERC in a statement.


The New Zealand born hooker has a history of overstepping the line in rugby and in 2007 was banned for 26 weeks for eye gouging London Wasps players James Haskell and Jonny O’Connor.


Northampton Saints play Ulster again in the return match this weekend and the Saints have to win if they are to stay in contention for the play offs.


IRB Law 10.4(a) Punching or striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).


Under the IRB Recommended Sanctions for Offences Committed within the Playing Enclosure, Law 10.4 (a) carries the following penalties: Low End: 2 weeks; Mid Range: 5 weeks; Top End: 8+ to 52 weeks.

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