Armitage is only back on the field after a recent eight-week suspension for pushing and verbally abusing a doping officer. That ban meant he missed the Six Nations but with the RFU deciding to ban players for weeks rather than matches this one is unlikely to see him miss more than London Irish’s final Aviva Premiership game against Leicester. Although that could be a crucial game as the way the table looks at the moment they will probably need something from it to qualify for next season’s Heineken Cup.
Players can usually expect a two-week ban for a similar offence but Armitage’s recent record will count against him and if the RFU go for the higher end of the ban spectrum it could be five weeks ruling him out of the England v Barbarians game at the end of May and possibly even the Churchill Cup.
An RFU spokesman said: “Delon Armitage of London Irish has been cited for striking Northampton Saints’ Stephen Myler with his hand during the Aviva Premiership match at the Madejski Stadium on April 23 Armitage has been summoned to appear before an RFU Disciplinary Panel at Chancery Lane on Tuesday, May 3 (4.15pm) following a report from the independent citing officer Alan Mansell. The panel will comprise Jeremy Summers (chair), Philip Evans and Peter Budge.”