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Northampton Saints trio named in England squad

Dylan Hartley (left), Courtney Lawes (centre) and Piers Francis (right) have all been selected. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints trio Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Piers Francis have been called up the England squad for the upcoming autumn internationals.

Hartley's place was in doubt at one stage after he was cited for striking Clermont prop Rabah Slimani the Saints' 24-7 Champions Cup defeat on Saturday, but an independent panel cleared him on Wednesday.

Fly-half Francis has been picked as one of the backs, while Lawes will be a strong contender to start in the second row, but fellow Saints forwards Tom Wood and Teimana Harrison are among those who have been overlooked.

England face Argentina at Twickenham on November 11, before taking on Australia (18 November) and Samoa (25 November).

  • England squad for the Autumn internationals

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Forwards: Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs).

Rugby: Hartley cleared to lead England

Dylan Hartley

Northampton Saints skipper Dylan Hartley has been cleared to lead England into their autumn series after his citing for striking was dismissed by an independent disciplinary hearing.

Hartley was sent to the sin-bin for striking Clermont prop Rabah Slimani during Northampton's 24-7 Champions Cup defeat on Saturday and, having pleaded not guilty to the offence, it was decided by the panel that he should receive no further sanction.

"It was found Hartley had committed a reckless act of foul play in that he had struck Slimani in the face. However, the committee was not satisfied that the offence had warranted a red card," read a statement issued by tournament organisers.

It was found Hartley had committed a reckless act of foul play in that he had struck Slimani in the face. However, the committee was not satisfied that the offence had warranted a red card.

– Tournament organisers


Harry Mallinder: Back signs new Northampton Saints deal

Harry Mallinder has committed his future to Northampton Saints. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints have announced that Harry Mallinder has signed a new contract with the club.

The 21-year-old, who is the son of Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder, is a product of the Saints academy and has made 50 first team appearances.

His has also represented England at various youth levels and received his first senior call-up for the tour of Argentina in the summer.

“The Saints is my only club and I never considered going anywhere else,” he said.

“I’ve grown up at Franklin’s Gardens and experienced some great memories already, both as a player and a young supporter of the club.

“Looking at the environment and the squad we have building here, I’m extremely positive about what is to come over the next few years.

“I’m delighted to be staying.”

Dylan Hartley: Northampton captain facing fresh hearing

Dylan Hartley could be hit with another suspension. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley will face a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday after he was cited for allegedly striking Clermont prop Rabah Slimani.

Hartley was yellow-carded during the Saints' Champions Cup clash against the French side on Saturday for catching Slimani in the face with a swinging arm.

If he's found guilty, he could face another suspension which would put his place in England's squad for the upcoming Autumn internationals at risk.

Hartley is no stranger to controversy having already served 60 weeks of suspensions in his career so far.

England Head Coach Eddie Jones is due to name his squad on Thursday.


North misses out on Lions Test

George North will sit out the first Test. Credit: PA

George North has been left out of the British and Irish Lions squad for Saturday's first Test against New Zealand.

The Northampton Saints star had been widely expected to start on the wing against the All Blacks, but Warren Gatland has opted for Wasps' Elliot Daly instead.

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Saints teammate Courtney Lawes will also have to settle for a watching brief, while the team will be captained by Ireland's Peter O'Mahoney.

Lawes impresses but British & Irish Lions suffer defeat

Lawes leaves the pitch with Johnny Sexton. Credit: PA
  • Blues 22-16 British and Irish Lions

Northampton Saints forward Courtney Lawes enjoyed an impressive debut for the British and Irish Lions, but couldn't prevent them from losing to the Blues in Auckland.

A late Ihaia West try condemned the Lions to their first defeat of this summer's New Zealand tour as they fell way short of their best at Eden Park.

Warren Gatland's side had looked on course to scrape a narrow victory courtesy of Leigh Halfpenny's boot, but West crossed the line with just five minutes remaining to win the match for the Super Rugby side.

Lawes was one of the players to emerge with plaudits though thanks to a series of bone-crunching tackles and his partnership with England colleague Maro Itoje in the second row.

The loss will come as a big blow to the Lions who were up against a Blues team who are currently bottom of the New Zealand Super Rugby conference.

They will face another step up in class on Saturday when they face the unbeaten Crusaders in Christchurch.

Courtney Lawes: Northampton star handed first Lions start

Courtney Lawes will start against the Blues. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints second row Courtney Lawes will make his debut for the British and Irish Lions in Wednesday's tour match against the Blues.

The 28-year-old is one of 15 changes from the side that stuttered past the Provincial Barbarians.

Lawes' Saints teammate George North won't feature in the match in Auckland, but should face the Crusaders on Saturday.

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