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Hartley banned for six weeks following Leinster red

The England captain lasted just six minutes off the bench Credit: PA Images

Northampton Saints forward Dylan Hartley has been banned for six weeks following his sending off during their defeat against Leinster in the European Rugby Champions Cup at Franklin's Gardens.

The England captain lasted just six minutes off the bench after he was red-carded for a swinging arm tackle on Leinster's Sean O'Brien.

Prior to this Hartley had already served a total of 54 weeks suspension, the longest being 26 weeks for eye-gouging. His punishments also cost him the chance to play with the British Lions in 2013, and for England in last year's Rugby World Cup.

The six-week ban means Hartley will be able to start in England's Six Nations opener against France at Twickenham on February 4.

Dylan Hartley to learn red card fate on Wednesday

Dylan Hartley will learn on Wednesday if he will be available to lead England into the RBS Six Nations Credit: PA

Northampton Saints forward Dylan Hartley will find out on Wednesday if he'll be able to lead England into the Six Nations.

The England captain lasted just six minutes off the bench after he was red-carded in the Saints' 37-10 defeat to Leinster on Friday in the European Rugby Champions Cup at Franklin's Gardens.

The dismissal capped a miserable night for Saints fans who are genuinely concerned about the club's ill discipline on the field and poor form.

A suspension of eight weeks or more would rule him out of the Six Nations opener against France at Twickenham on February 4.

Hartley will appear before an independent hearing to discover the length of the ban.


Wood keeps starting spot as England aim for record

Tom Wood will start against Australia. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints flanker Tom Wood has kept his place in the England team for their big game against Australia on Saturday.

He'll be joined by fellow forwards Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes in the starting XV, while Norfolk's Ben Youngs has also been named.

Teimana Harrison is on the bench.

A win for England at Twickenham would mean they'd end the year unbeaten - the only country to do so.

  • England team to play Australia

M Brown (Harlequins); M Yarde (Harlequins), J Joseph (Bath), O Farrell (Saracens), J May (Gloucester); G Ford (Bath), B Youngs (Leicester)

M Vunipola (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton, capt), D Cole (Leicester), C Lawes (Northampton), G Kruis (Saracens), C Robshaw (Harlequins), T Wood (Northampton), N Hughes (Wasps).


Northampton Saints flanker Wood left out of England squad

Tom Wood in action against South Africa. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints flanker Tom Wood has been left out of the England squad to face Fiji at Twickenham this weekend.

The 30-year-old started last Saturday's 37-21 win over South Africa, but has now been released.

It means Wood will be free to feature in the Saints' Premiership game at Worcester on Friday night.

Fellow Northampton players Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Teimana Harrison have all been retained by Eddie Jones.

Northampton Saints star Wood makes England return

Tom Wood is back in the England team. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints flanker Tom Wood will make his first appearance for England in more than a year against South Africa this weekend.

The 30-year-old hasn't featured since Head Coach Eddie Jones took over last autumn.

However, a number of injuries have opened the door for him to force his way back into the fold at open-side.

Fellow Saints teammate Courtney Lawes will win his 50th cap for his country after getting the nod at second row, while Dylan Hartley will once again captain the team.

We congratulate Courtney Lawes on his 50-cap milestone – an excellent achievement.

We’re looking forward to the game. Test matches are always about the contest up front and South Africa pride themselves in the set piece but we’ll be ready for the challenge.

– Eddie Jones, England Head coach
  • England team to face South Africa

Mike Brown (Harlequins); Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby); George Ford (Bath Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers); Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers); Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints); Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Billy Vunipola (Saracens).

Tom Wood called back to England squad for autumn internationals

Tom Wood was previously dropped from the England squad. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints player Tom Wood has been called back into the England squad for their autumn international series.

He is one of the 33 players who will fly to Portugal next week for training, ahead of England's opening game against South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on 12 November.

The announcement comes as ten England players have been battling injuries.

Wood previously played for England, but was dropped from the team in January.

With a number of influential players missing through injury we have two weeks to prepare a robust and resilient team to meet the challenges set for us in the Old Mutual Wealth Series.

Our training camp in Portugal is a great opportunity to spend a week together, focus on putting our game plans in place and for new players to understand the England way.

– Eddie Jones, England Head coach

Northampton Saints coach King leaves the club

Alex King has left Northampton Saints. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northampton Saints attack coach Alex King has left the club with immediate effect.

The former Wasps fly-half was part of the coaching team that led the Saints to the Premiership title in 2013/14, but he has now ended his four-year association by mutual consent.

King was approached by England to join their backroom staff last December but the Saints turned their advances down.

The club's Chief Executive Allan Robson says it's the right time to cut ties.

Alex has been a valued member of the coaching staff.

He played a big role in our Aviva Premiership and Challenge Cup titles and finishing top of the table in 2015.

However we feel that the time is right to move on, and Alex leaves with our thanks and best wishes for the future.

– Allan Robson, Northampton Saints Chief Executive
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