Joe Marler’s ban was set at three weeks “due to the player’s guilty plea and expression of remorse”

England prop Joe Marler has been banned for three weeks and will miss England’s Tests with Argentina and Australia.

Harlequins’ Marler was charged with striking with the elbow following a tackle on Wasps’ Will Rowlands in Saturday’s win.

A European Professional Club Rugby disciplinary committee “upheld the citing complaint and determined that the offence had warranted a red card”.

However, it was decided he struck with his arm and not his elbow.

The committee decided on a four-week ban, which was then reduced by one week “due to the player’s guilty plea and expression of remorse”.

A statement read: “In deciding that Marler is suspended until midnight on Sunday, 19 November, the panel took into account the player’s likely playing commitments in the coming weeks.”

Also on Wednesday, disciplinary action against England captain Dylan Hartley was dismissed, while Nathan Hughes received a two-week ban.

Wasps number eight Hughes was charged with a dangerous tackle on Quins’ Marcus Smith, which was upheld.

He and Hartley are therefore free to play against Argentina on 11 November, Australia on 18 November and Samoa on 25 November.

Northampton Saints hooker Hartley for striking Clermont Auvergne’s Rabah Slimani in the European Champions Cup defeat by Clermont Auvergne.

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder said the citing was “unjustified and unwarranted”.

A statement from EPCR read: “The disciplinary committee found that Hartley had committed a reckless act of foul play in that he had struck Rabah Slimani in the face. However, the committee was not satisfied that the offence had warranted a red card.”

If found guilty he would have faced a minimum two-week ban.

England coach Eddie Jones names his squad on Thursday.


Hartley’s citing always appeared a little bit on the harsh side, and his club Northampton have expressed their dismay about the process, with boss Jim Mallinder calling the citing “unjustified and unwarranted” and a “distraction”.

I’m told both Hartley and Mallinder missed training to attend the hearing – while Mallinder has also asked whether Hartley is being unfairly singled out because of his past misdemeanours.

Marler’s guilty plea shows the player did expect to be punished, but the panel have controversially taken his likely playing commitments into account, so what is a three-week ban is, in effect, actually four weeks.


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