Hartley faces hearing in Dublin


England hooker Dylan Hartley faces an independent disciplinary hearing at ERC headquarters in Dublin today following a citing during Northampton Saints Heineken Cup defeat to Ulster at Franklin’s Gardens last Friday night.

Hartley is alleged to have struck Ireland and Ulster hooker Rory Best with his arm in an incident during the second half of the match. The complaint was made by the match citing commissioner Jean-Claude Legendre of France.

It is not Hartley’s first brush with the disciplinary process. In April, 2007 he was found guilty of gouging Wasps players James Haskell and Johnny O’Connor during a club game and was suspended for 26 weeks while earlier this year he received an eight- week ban after being found guilty of biting Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris during the Six Nations game against England at Twickenham.

The Saints are due in Belfast on Saturday to take on Ulster in a Heineken Cup round four clash.

It’ll be a busy day at Huguenot House in Dublin as Cardiff Blues scrumhalf Lloyd Williams and Newport Gwent Dragons flanker Jevon Groves will undergo disciplinary proceedings after being sent off in matches for their respective clubs in European competition last weekend.

Williams received a red card from Irish referee John Lacey for an alleged dangerous (tip) tackle on Montpellier scrumhalf Benoit Paillaugue. Groves was sent off in an Amlin Challenge Cup match against Rugby Mogliano by English referee Ian Tempest for an alleged dangerous tackle on Ezio Galon.

Jeremy Summers (England) has been appointed as the independent judicial officer for the Williams and Groves hearings.

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