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CONFIRMED: Harlequins prop Joe Marler handed a ban for striking

Joe Marler has been banned for three weeks, meaning he will miss England’s first two autumn internationals against Argentina and Australia.

The Harlequins prop was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Murray Whyte (Ireland), for striking the Wasps second row, Will Rowlands (No 5), with his elbow in the 48th minute of the match in contravention of Law 10.4 (a).

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Jeremy Summers (England), Chairman, Rhian Williams (Wales) and Frank Hadden (Scotland), heard evidence and submissions from Marler, who pleaded guilty, from the player’s legal representative, Sam Jones, from the Harlequins Team Manager, Graeme Bowerbank, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The Committee upheld the citing complaint and determined that the offence had warranted a red card, but decided after consideration that the strike by the player was with the arm rather than the elbow.

Law 10.4 (a) Striking with the arm
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (a), striking with the arm, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 4 weeks; Top end: 8 to 52 weeks.

The Committee found that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected four weeks as the appropriate entry point. It then reduced the sanction by one week due to the player’s guilty plea and expression of remorse before imposing a suspension of three weeks.

In deciding that Marler is suspended until midnight on Sunday, 19 November, the Committee took into account the player’s likely playing commitments in the coming weeks. Both Marler and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

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