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England confirm Hartley dropped from World Cup squad

Dylan Hartley has been dropped from England's Rugby World Cup training squad. Credit: PA

Dylan Hartley has been dropped from England's Rugby World Cup training squad following his ban for headbutting, the Rugby Football Union has announced.

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Northampton Saints star Hartley set to be axed from England's World Cup squad

Dylan Hartley's World Cup hopes look like they're over. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints star Dylan Hartley looks set to be dropped from England's World Cup training squad.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster is expected to announce his decision later today.

Hartley was recently banned for four weeks for headbutting Saracens' Jamie George - the sixth suspension of his career.

Northampton Saints Chairman vows to stand by Hartley

Dylan Hartley won't feature in England's first World Cup game. Credit: PA

The Northampton Saints Chairman Tony Hewitt has vowed that the club will stand by hooker Dylan Hartley after he was hit with yet another ban.

Hartley was handed a four-week suspension for headbutting Saracens' Jamie George during the Aviva Premiership semi-final between the two sides at the weekend.

It means that the 29-year-old won't be eligible to play in any of England's World Cup warm-up games as well as the tournament opener against Fiji on September 18.

Hartley's latest indiscretion means that he's now missed 54 weeks of his career through suspensions.

Click below to hear from Tony Hewitt

"Dylan does a fantastic amount of work off the pitch with the squad and a number of charitable commitments so he's a very important part of Northampton.

He's been a good servant and we'll continue to look after him."

– Tony Hewitt, Northampton Saints chairman

Northampton Saints star Hartley to miss World Cup opener

Dylan Hartley. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints star Dylan Hartley's World Cup hopes are hanging in the balance after he was hit with a four-week ban for headbutting an opponent.

The England hooker was cited for the clash with Saracens' Jamie George during last weekend's Aviva Premiership semi-final defeat.

The sanction means that he will now miss all of his country's World Cup warm-up games and won't be eligible to play in England's first World Cup game against Fiji on September 18 - if selected.

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Northampton Saints: Hartley's World Cup future in doubt after 'headbutt' charge

Dylan Hartley. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints star Dylan Hartley will find out today if he'll be banned for allegedly headbutting an opponent.

The England forward will face an RFU disciplinary panel today.

It relates to an incident involving Jamie George during the Saints' Premiership semi-final defeat to Saracens at the weekend.

A ban would put Hartley's World Cup future in serious doubt after he was previously warned about his future conduct by Head Coach Stuart Lancaster.

North plays down fears over his recovery

George North in action for Saints Credit: PA

George North has played down the fears over his recovery from concussion.

It comes as Wales boss Warren Gatland said he'd like North to miss the rest of the season, and not play again until the World Cup in September.

The 23-year-old wing, who has suffered four head injuries in the last five months, is focusing his efforts on getting back to health and told The Daily Telegraph of his recovery: "It's looking positive.

I am symptom-free at the moment and going through the return-to-play protocols. I am doing that over a two-week period rather than the normal one week, so that I get plenty of time to recover. I am following the advice of the physios, doing everything that they advise. It is a step-by-step thing and that is what I am doing at the moment.

– George North
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