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Hartley cleared to play for England after citing dismissed

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Hartley cleared to play for England after citing dismissed

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(Reuters) – England captain Dylan Hartley is free to play in the autumn internationals after a citing for striking was dismissed, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said on Wednesday. Hartley was cited for an alleged strike to the head of Clermont Auvergne prop Rabah Slimani in the first half of Northampton’s 24-7 Champions Cup defeat on Saturday. “The disciplinary 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,” EPCR said in a statement. “The citing complaint was therefore dismissed and Hartley is free to play.” Hartley, along with England number eight Nathan Hughes and prop Joe Marler, faced disciplinary action ahead of Eddie Jones’ England squad announcement on Thursday for a three-test series against Argentina, Australia and Samoa next month. The cases against Hughes and Marler will be heard later on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris)
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