Joe Marler of Harlequins and Marcos Ayerza of Leicester both banned for two weeks after their fight in the Harlequins v Leicester match on Saturday. Both can play again on 19 April so that means they miss this weekend’s big European matches.

They got the same ban following their dismissals for striking with the fist (Marler) and head (Ayerza) respectively during the Aviva Premiership game at the Twickenham Stoop.

The pair, who pleaded guilty, were suspended by an RFU Disciplinary Panel of Jeff Blackett (chair), Philip Evans and Jeremy Summers.

Blackett said: “This was unacceptable behaviour which was captured on live television and not something we want to see in our game. That said, both offences were deemed to have a low end entry point for sanction. The starting point for Ayerza striking with the head was four weeks, reduced to two for his guilty plea and relatively good record. Marler’s sanction did not alter from the two-week entry point because, despite his guilty plea, his previous disciplinary record counted against him.”

The dismissal of Neil Briggs (Sale Sharks) after receiving two yellow cards – one for foul play, one for a technical offence – against Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday was deemed sufficient.

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