Marler and Farrell free for June

International
AFP
by AFP
Six Nations Grand Slam-winners Owen Farrell and Joe Marler will both be available for their clubs' respective European finals and England's tour of Australia, after they each received two-week bans in separate disciplinary hearings in London on Wednesday.

England goal-kicker Farrell was suspended after being cited for a dangerous tackle on Wasps' scrum-half Dan Robson early in the second half of Saracens' 24-17 European Champions Cup semi-final win last Saturday.

Meanwhile prop Marler was cited for kicking Grenoble hooker Arnaud Heguy during last Friday's European Challenge Cup semi-final, a match London club Quins won 30-6 at their Twickenham Stoop ground.

Both Farrell and Marler were banned until May but that means they will each be available for their clubs' European finals in Lyon and England's three-Test tour of Australia in June.Harlequins' prop Joe Marler received a two-week ban for kicking. Photo: AFP
Premiership leaders Saracens are bidding for a domestic and European double, with their European Champions Cup final against Paris's Racing 92 in Lyon on May 14.

A day earlier, Harlequins play Montpellier in the second-tier Challenge Cup final.

Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said in a statement: "In upholding the citing complaint, the committee found that Farrell had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card.

"It determined that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions, and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point.

"The committee added one week to the sanction as a deterrent in line with World Rugby's memoranda regarding dangerous tackles, and then reduced the sanction by one week due to the player's clean disciplinary record, good character and excellent conduct at the hearing, before imposing a suspension of two weeks."

Farrell, 24, will miss Premiership matches with Newcastle on Sunday and then Worcester six days later, but he will be available when the reigning English champions bid to be crowned kings of Europe for the first time.

Last week saw Marler make his first appearance following a previous two-week suspension imposed for his "Gypsy boy" slur against Wales' Samson Lee in last month' Six Nations Championship game at Twickenham.

However, the EPCR panel said they had not taken Marler's previous suspension into account as it was "of an entirely different nature".

Marler will now miss Harlequins' two remaining regular season English Premiership games against London Irish and Exeter.

The 25-year-old Marler initially escaped censure for his taunts against prop Lee in England's 25-21 Six Nations victory over Wales at Twickenham on March 12.

Global governing body World Rugby later intervened and called a misconduct hearing however, dissatisfied with the leniency of Six Nations and RFU bosses.

Marler admitted the charge and was banned for two matches and fined £20,000 ($29,000, 25,700 euros).
 

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