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Four-week ban for England's Hartley
28 May 2015 07:07
Dylan Hartley's World Cup hopes are under severe threat after the England hooker was hit with a four-week ban for headbutting Saracens' Jamie George.
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The fiery Northampton hooker's guilty plea in Wednesday's disciplinary hearing may just prove a shrewd enough move however to salvage his World Cup participation.
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Hartley will miss England's three World Cup warm-up games and the tournament opener against Fiji at Twickenham on September 18.
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Hartley accepted the charge of head-butting Saracens hooker George in the second-half of Northampton's 29-24 Aviva Premiership semi-final defeat on Saturday.
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"This offence falls within the low entry point for striking with the head," said HHJ Sean Enright, who chaired the hearing.
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"There was no significant injury to the other party, the opposition player was not removed from the field of play and the incident did not affect the game.
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"However there cannot be any place in our game for this class of behaviour, and that is why we have imposed this sanction."
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