Hartley avoids heavy ban

Date published: December 23 2014

Northampton and England hooker Dylan Hartley has been suspended for three weeks following his red card.

Hartley, who was sent off in the Premiership match between Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers for striking Matt Smith with his elbow, contrary to Law 10.4(a), is banned until January 11, 2015. He can play again on January 12.

The Northampton Saints hooker pleaded guilty and the case was heard via conference call by Jeremy Summers, sitting as a sole Judicial Officer.

Summers said: “The sanction reflects the low end entry point of the offence, which carries a two-week tariff.

“The entry point was aggravated having regard to Dylan’s previous record and a week was taken off to reflect mitigating circumstances.

“As such the sanction reflects the player’s record rather than the seriousness of the offence itself.”