Dylan Hartley faces an RFU disciplinary hearing in London on Tuesday to decide his fate following Saturday’s red card against Leicester.
The Northampton skipper was sent off in the East Midlands derby for an elbow throw at the face of Matt Smith and received his marching orders after just 16 minutes of the game at Franklin’s Gardens.
Despite the loss of their captain, Saints were able to regroup and win the game 23-19 thanks to a late try from Jamie Elliott.
It is not Hartley’s first disciplinary problem, having previously served a 26-week ban for eye-gouging in 2007, and missing 11 weeks for verbal abuse of referee Wayne Barnes during the 2013 Aviva Premiership final.
He was sent off against Leicester in that game as well, and ended up missing the British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia as a result, so any ban this time around could be extensive due to past indiscretions.
However Northampton have vehemently defended their hooker since the incident took place, and are set to mount a strong defence at the disciplinary hearing, which will be heard by Jeremy Summers.