Ban rules prop out of Six Nations openers

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 06:27

DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: Defending Six Nations champions England will be without prop Joe Marler for at least the opening two matches of the tournament.

Marler was slapped with a six-week foul play ban.

The 27-year-old - whose career has been bedevilled by disciplinary issues - was handed the suspension by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel after being sent off at the weekend in his club Harlequins' 29-30 Premiership loss to Sale.

Marler will definitely miss the games against Italy on February 4 in Rome and against Wales at Twickenham a week later - the ban ends just four days before their third match against Scotland at Murrayfield.

"Joe Marler of Harlequins appeared before a disciplinary panel, after receiving a red card from referee Matt Carley during Saturday's Premiership match against Sale Sharks," read the RFU statement.

"He was sent off in the 58th minute for striking with the shoulder and making contact with Sale Sharks' Thomas Ioane.

"Marler pleaded guilty to the charge and was suspended for a period of six weeks."

Marler's colourful disciplinary record also counted against him.

"The panel considered that the player's previous record was such that it required an additional period of suspension of one week,"the statement said.

However, because of his plea, his conduct since the incident took place and other personal mitigation, the panel allowed some reduction.

"He is available to play again on 20 February 2018."

The panel comprised Philip Evans (chairman) - with Aidan O'Brien and Becky Essex.

Ioane received a two-week suspension for striking Marler with his arm.

The Samoan flank admitted to the charge and will miss Sale's two upcoming European Challenge Cup matches.

Ioane consented to the matter being dealt with on papers and pleaded guilty to the charge.

There are currently no matches being played
Sat, 20 January 2018
Montpellier v Leinster 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Cheetahs v Kings 15h00 Bloemfontein
Saracens v Northampton Saints 15h15 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Ospreys 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Treviso v Bath 17h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Scarlets v Toulon 17h30 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 21 January 2018
Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Castres 13h00 Thomond Park
La Rochelle v Harlequins 15h15 Stade Marcel-Deflandre
Wasps v Ulster 15h15 Ricoh Arena
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 13 10 0 3 50
Saracens 13 9 0 4 45
Wasps 13 8 0 5 39
Gloucester 13 8 0 5 38
Bath 13 7 0 6 37
Newcastle Falcons 13 8 0 5 36
Sale Sharks 13 6 0 7 33
Leicester Tigers 13 7 0 6 32
Harlequins 13 6 0 7 32
Northampton Saints 13 5 0 8 26
Worcester Warriors 13 3 0 10 19
London Irish 13 1 0 12 10