– The British and Irish Lions
Warren Gatland and his fellow coaches will now consider all their options before making any further announcement."
This is not the first time Northampton captain Dylan Hartley has been suspended.
Hartley's disciplinary record is long and includes incidents of eye-gouging, biting and punching, as detailed here:
- April 2007 - Banned for 26 weeks for eye-gouging Wasps forwards James Haskell and Jonny O'Connor.
- March 2012 - Banned for eight weeks for biting Ireland forward Stephen Ferris in a Six Nations match.
- December 2012 - Banned for two weeks for punching Ulster hooker Rory Best in a Heineken Cup match.
- May 2013 - Sent off in the Aviva Premiership final and banned for 11 weeks after being found guilty of verbally abusing a match official.
The Rugby Football Union has issued a statement about the 11 week suspension of Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley.
His plea of not guilty to swearing at ref Wayne Barnes was overruled by the panel. His suspension of 12 weeks was reduced by one to reflect his good conduct at the hearing.
– Judge Jeff Blackett
We cannot get around the fact that Wayne Barnes was certain that Mr. Hartley’s comments were directed at him. Wayne Barnes said that if he had had any doubt in his mind, then he would have given the player the benefit of the doubt. In terms of sanction, calling a referee a cheat is an attack on his integrity and contrary to the core values of rugby and therefore we have taken a serious view and provided a serious sanction.”
Dylan Hartley has the right to appeal against his 11 week ban.
The Saints captain was sent off for allegedly calling referee Wayne Barnes a "f****** cheat" just before half-time in Leicester's 37-17 victory at Twickenham.
The RFU confirmed the suspension rules Hartley out of the Lions tour.
Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley has lost his place in the British Lions tour party after being banned from rugby for 11 weeks. An RFU disciplinary hearing found him guilty of verbally abusing a match official in the Aviva Premiership final.
Jim Mallinder talks to Donovan Blake about Dylan Hartley's red card and his side's loss in the Aviva Premiership final.
Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley is appearing at an RFU Disciplinary Hearing after becoming the first player to be sent off during a Premiership final.
Hartley was sent off for alleged verbal abuse of a match official in the Aviva Premiership final against Leicester Tigers at Twickenham.
Northampton Saints have arrived at Twickenham for the Aviva Premiership play-off final