England captain Hartley cleared for November internationals, three-week ban for Marler

Dylan Hartley will be available to lead England in the autumn internationals after a citing for striking was dismissed, but Joe Marler has been banned for three weeks and will miss two Tests next month.

Hartley, 31, was sin-binned in the first half of Northampton Saints' European Champions Cup defeat at Clermont Auvergne last weekend for striking prop Rabah Slimani.

The hooker pleaded not guilty and Clermont's Benjamin Kayser called for no action to be taken against his opposite number.

Hartley was in danger of missing England's Tests against Argentina, Australia and Samoa at Twickenham next month after he was cited, but no further action has been taken against the captain.

A European Professional Club Rugby statement said: "An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Jeremy Summers (England), Chairman, Rhian Williams (Wales) and Frank Hadden (Scotland) heard evidence and submissions from Hartley, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, from Northampton Saints' legal representative, Sam Jones, and from Northampton Saints Director of Rugby, Jim Mallinder.

"The Committee also heard evidence and submissions from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

"The Committee found that 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. The citing complaint was therefore dismissed and Hartley is free to play."

Marler, 27, was found guilty of striking Will Rowlands with his arm rather than an elbow during Harlequins' Champions Cup loss to Wasps.

Eddie Jones will have to do without the prop against the Pumas and the Wallabies after it was deemed that he should have been shown a red card at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.

Jones will be able to call upon Wasps number eight Nathan Hughes, who was suspended for two weeks for striking Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith.

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