Dylan Hartley handed six-week ban

England and Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley is handed a six-week ban for striking Leinster's Sean O'Brien during their Champions Cup clash at Franklin's Gardens.

England and Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley has been handed a six-week ban following his red card against Leinster on Friday.

The 30-year-old was sent off just six minutes after coming on as a substitute during the Champions Cup clash at Franklin's Gardens having caught Sean O'Brien in the head with a swinging arm.

Hartley pleaded guilty to a charge of striking at an independent disciplinary hearing this afternoon and will now be unavailable until January 23.

The length of the ban means that Hartley - named captain of England by head coach Eddie Jones - will be available to lead his country out in the Six Nations opener against France at Twickenham on February 4.

Hartley received an additional week to the original five-week ban for his poor disciplinary record in the past, having now been shown three red cards and missed 60 weeks of action through suspension.

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Northampton captain Dylan Hartley is shown the red card and sent off by referee JP Doyle during the Aviva Premiership match against Leicester on December 20, 2014
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