CONFIRMED: Joe Marler to miss the start of Six Nations after being banned

Joe Marler appeared before an independent disciplinary panel tonight after being sent off for Harlequins against Sale in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.

The England loosehead was sent off in the 58th minute for striking with the shoulder and making contact with Sale Sharks’ TJ Ioane, contrary to law 9.12.

Marler pleaded guilty to the charge and was suspended for a period of six weeks. He is available to play again on Tuesday 20th February 2018 and will, therefore, miss England’s Six Nations clashes with Italy and Wales.

The chairman of the panel Philip Evans QC said: “The panel found that contact was made with the head of TJ Ioane and as a result the mandatory entry point is mid-range.

“The panel considered that the player’s previous record was such that it required an additional period of suspension of one week, however because of his plea, his conduct since the incident took place and other personal mitigation, the panel allowed some reduction.”

The panel comprised Philip Evans QC (chair) with Aidan O’Brien and Becky Essex.

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