Saints skipper gets hefty ban

Northampton Saints captain and lock Calum Clark received an eight-month suspension for serious foul play.

Clark, who is in England’s elite squad, was found guilty of hyperextending the right arm of 22-year-old Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins in the LV Cup final a fortnight ago. The latter left the field injured with a broken elbow.

The RFU slapped Clark with a 32-week ban that will run from 22 March to 1 November. This will only see the player return to action in the next European season.

Clark is the second Northampton forward to receive a lengthy suspension this week after England hooker Dylan Hartley was found guilty for biting Ireland flank Stephen Ferris’ finger during a Six Nations game on 17 March. Hartley will sit out for eight weeks.