Northampton and England hooker Dylan Hartley has been given just a six-week suspension by a disciplinary committee in London today.
Hartley was cited under Law 10.4 (a) after being red carded for striking Sean O’Brien just six minutes after being introduced as a replacement in Northampton’s Champions Cup home defeat to Leinster last Friday.
The disciplinary committee chaired by Wales’ Simon Thomas, ruled that the offence deserved a mid-range sanction of five weeks. Two weeks were added for Hartley’s poor disciplinary record – a grand total of 54 weeks suspended before today – but one was retracted again owing to the 30-year-old’s guilty plea.
Hartley will be available for the entire Six Nations campaign which, for England, begins with the visit of France on 4 February.