Hartley cleared to play for England after citing dismissed
LONDON (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 matches of England's November 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 was banned for two weeks for a dangerous tackle on Quins flyhalf Marcus Smith in the same game but will be free to face Argentina.
Coach Eddie Jones names his England squad on Thursday for next month's internationals against Argentina (Nov. 11), Australia (Nov. 18) and Samoa (Nov. 25).
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ed Osmond)