Northampton consider appeal over Calum Clark 32 week ban

 

Northampton say they are "bound to consider the merits of an appeal" after their back-row forward Calum Clark was banned for 32 weeks.

England hopeful Clark's rugby career is on hold after he was made to pay a hefty price for foul play during a showpiece cup final.

The England elite squad member cannot play again until November 2 following a Rugby Football Union hearing last night.

Clark, 22, was cited after an incident during Northampton's LV= Cup final defeat against Leicester 12 days ago, and then suspended indefinitely by his club.

Clark, who captained Saints in the final, was reported for an act contrary to good sportsmanship, allegedly hyperextending Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins' right arm.

It left Hawkins with a broken elbow and requiring surgery, sidelining him for the rest of this season.

Clark's suspension of more than seven months is among the longest handed out to a senior English player during rugby union's 16-and-a-half-year professional era.

In a statement, Saints said: "The disciplinary panel found that Calum Clark had not intended to injure Rob Hawkins in the course of moving his arm.

"Accordingly, the unfortunate injury suffered by Rob Hawkins was unintentional.

"In the light of that finding of the disciplinary panel, Northampton Saints is bound to express concern and disappointment at the imposition of such a long suspension, even after significant mitigation in recognition in what was accepted to be Calum Clark's genuine remorse.

"Accordingly, the club is bound to consider the merits of an appeal. No further comment will be made at this time."

Television footage of the incident at Sixways, though, could have left few people in any doubt about its severity.

Pictures showed former Bath forward Hawkins reeling away in agony from a 21st-minute ruck. It was an incident that enraged Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill.

In a statement the RFU said: "Calum Clark of Northampton Saints was suspended for 32 weeks for an act contrary to good sportsmanship - Law 10(4) (M).

"Clark pleaded guilty to hyperextending the right arm of Leicester Tigers' Rob Hawkins during the LV= Cup final at Sixways on March 18.

"The suspension will run from March 22 to the November 1. He is free to play again on November 2 2012.

"Clark is ordered to pay hearing costs of £500."

The full judgement of Clark's hearing is expected to be made available later today.

He is the second Northampton forward to receive a lengthy ban this week after club skipper and England hooker Dylan Hartley landed an eight-week suspension for biting Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris' finger during an RBS 6 Nations game on March 17.

Hartley will be available for England's three-Test summer tour to South Africa and the Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham on May 26, should play-off contenders Saints get there.

But Clark faces a far longer period of time in which to contemplate his actions that left an opposition player seriously injured.

A former England Under-20 skipper who joined Northampton from Leeds Carnegie, Clark is viewed among a promising array of young back-row talent currently available to newly-appointed England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

PA

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering