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  1. National

Dylan Hartley dropped from England squad

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

Hartley was handed a four week ban on Wednesday. Credit: PA

England have dropped combustible hooker Hartley from his squad after his latest misdemeanour, a headbutt on Jamie George.

Northampton front-rower Hartley was handed a four-week ban on Wednesday night after pleading guilty to headbutting George in last weekend's Premiership play-off defeat to Saracens, taking his career suspensions tally to 54 weeks.

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Dylan Hartley set to be axed from World Cup squad

England are expected to announce they have dropped Northampton Saints star Dylan Hartley from their Rugby World Cup training squad today, after his latest ban for headbutting Jamie George.

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

It's understood England head coach Stuart Lancaster will confirm he has dropped combustible hooker Hartley from his squad when announcing the team to face the Barbarians in Sunday's Twickenham clash.

Hartley was handed a four-week ban on Wednesday night after pleading guilty to headbutting George in last weekend's Premiership play-off defeat to Saracens, taking his career suspensions tally to 54 weeks.

Dylan Hartley handed 4 week ban: World Cup in doubt

Dylan Hartley has been handed a 4 week ban Credit: PA

Dylan Hartley's World Cup hopes are under severe threat after the England hooker was hit with a four-week ban for headbutting Saracens' Jamie George.

The fiery Northampton hooker's guilty plea in Wednesday's disciplinary hearing may just prove a shrewd enough move however to salvage his World Cup participation.

Hartley will miss England's three World Cup warm-up games and the tournament opener against Fiji at Twickenham on September 18.

Charity match played in honour of Northampton Saints' former chairman

Leon Barwell died aged 46 after suffering from cancer for 18 months. Credit: ITV News Central

Rugby World Cup winners came together to support a cancer charity set up in memory of Northampton Saints' former chairman, Leon Barwell.

Stars like Jason Robinson and Matt Dawson took to the field for a charity football match at Sixfields in his memory this afternoon.

The money raised by the game will help support families of other cancer victims.

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  1. Anglia

Northampton Saints pair Manoa and Ma’afu to join Toulon

Samu Manoa is heading to Toulon. Credit: PA

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has confirmed that Northampton Saints forwards Samu Manoa and Salesi Ma’afu will sign for his club at the end of the season.

The news will come as a blow to Northampton who had managed to tie down their other prized assets in Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes last week.

American star Manoa has been handed a four-year contract by the European Champions, and Boudjellal has backed him to impress in France.

“Samu Manoa is the first four-year contract that I have signed.

For me, he will become the star of the Top 14. He is a rugby phenomenon, made for Mayol."

– Mourad Boudjellal, Toulon owner
Salesi Ma’afu is also heading for the exit door. Credit: PA

Toulon have also agreed a deal to sign Saints prop Ma’afu, while New Zealand centre Ma’a Nonu and Clermont winger Napolioni Nalaga have also joined.

  1. Anglia

Draw made for rugby's European Champions Cup

Northampton Saints have been drawn in Pool 5 for the European Rugby Champions Cup.

They'll play Racing Metro, Ospreys and Treviso. Last season's beaten finalists Saracens will tae on Munster, Sale Sharks and Clermont Auvergne.

Local rivals Leicester Tigers have been drawn with Scarlets, Ulster and reigning champions Toulon.

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