Former England Winger Chris Ashton has been hit with a 13-week ban for biting.
Ashton was cited for two incidents of allegedly biting Northampton’s Alex Waller in their Premiership match, in the 24th and 25th minutes of the game.
The Saracens winger had proclaimed his innocence, contesting both counts, but was found guilty on one count of biting.
Ashton will not be available to play for Saracens, or England, until December 19 this year.
This is not the first time the winger has been served a lengthy suspension, he missed 10 weeks earlier this year over an eye gouging incident.
That suspension ruled him out of the Six Nations and he wasn’t selected for England’s tour of Australia.
He was part of the Six Nations squad as well as last year’s Rugby World Cup squad, missing the final cut of the latter.
Ashton hasn’t played for England since the end of year internationals in 2013.
RFU Disciplinary Panel chairman, Philip Evans QC, said the suspension was exacerbated by his previous record.
“Having considered detailed evidence the panel concluded that during the course of a ruck Chris Ashton bit the arm of Alex Waller at a time that Mr Waller was attempting to clear him out,” he said in a statement.
“The panel concluded it was a low-end entry point aggravated by his previous record.”