Rugby

Hartley banned for Lions tour

2013-05-26 16:02
Dylan Hartley (Gallo Images)

London - Northampton captain Dylan Hartley will miss the British and Irish Lions' tour to Australia after being hit with an 11-week ban for verbally abusing a match official.

England hooker Hartley was sent off for allegedly calling referee Wayne Barnes a "f****** cheat" just before half-time in Leicester's 37-17 victory against his club in the Premiership final at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 27-year old had his case heard by a Rugby Football Union (RFU) panel headed by Judge Jeff Blackett in London on Sunday.

VIDEO: Dylan Hartley red card

The RFU confirmed their suspension rules Hartley out of the forthcoming Lions tour, although he does have the right of appeal, with Ireland's Rory Best the favourite to replace him in Warren Gatland's squad before they leave for Australia on Monday.

Hartley has been the subject of three previous bans. In 2007 he was sidelined for six months for gouging and in 2012 was on the wrong end of suspensions for punching and biting.

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