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Farrell, Marler run Australia risk after citings

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In his return match for Harlequins, England prop Joe Marler could miss more action after allegedly kicking Grenolbe hooker Arnaud Heguy.

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OWEN Farrell and Joe Marler could both miss England’s three-Test tour of Australia in June after being cited on Monday for alleged disciplinary offences while on European duty with their respective club sides last week.

Farrell could also be sidelined from Saracens’ bid to be crowned kings of Europe in next month’s Champions Cup final after being cited for a dangerous tackle, according to a statement issued by European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR).

Meanwhile Marler, already banned once in a season where both he and Farrell helped England win the Six Nations with a Grand Slam, found himself in fresh disciplinary trouble after being cited for kicking an opponent playing for Saracens’ London rivals Harlequins.

Owen Farrell is shown the yellow card by referee Romain Poite after a tackle on Dan Robson during the European Rugby Champions Cup semi final match between Saracens and Wasps at Madejski Stadium.

Owen Farrell is shown the yellow card by referee Romain Poite after a tackle on Dan Robson during the European Rugby Champions Cup semi final match between Saracens and Wasps at Madejski Stadium.Source:Getty Images

Farrell was alleged to have committed a dangerous tackle on Wasps’ scrum-half Dan Robson early in the second half of Saracens’ 24-17 European Champions Cup semi-final win over their fellow English club in Reading, southwest of London, on Saturday.

Fly-half Farrell was shown a yellow card by French referee Romain Poite for the head-high challenge and spent 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

But he now faces a hearing after Italian match citing commissioner Stefano Marrama made an official complaint.

If he is found to have contravened World Rugby’s sanctions on foul play, Farrell could face anything from a two to 52-week ban, although he is unlikely to be hit with the most severe penalty.

But even a low or ‘mid-range’ ban of six weeks could rule Farrell out of the May 14 Champions Cup final against Paris’s Racing 92 in Lyon, where Premiership leaders Saracens will be bidding to be crowned champions of Europe for the first time in their history.

Any longer suspension could also have an impact on Farrell’s availability for the Australia tour.

Saturday’s match also saw Wasps replacement Simon McIntyre, who like Farrell was yellow-carded, cited for allegedly kicking England lock Maro Itoje in the 69th minute at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.

Joe Marler’s right leg collects Arnaud Heguy in the head.

Joe Marler’s right leg collects Arnaud Heguy in the head.Source:Twitter

Meanwhile Marler, playing for Harlequins in their 30-6 win over Grenoble in the semi-finals of the second-tier European Challenge Cup on Friday, has been accused of kicking the French club’s hooker, Arnaud Heguy, by Scottish citing commissioner Iain Goodall.

In common with Farrell, Marler too now faces missing out on a European final and the Australia tour if suspended.

In his return match for Harlequins, England prop Joe Marler could miss more action after allegedly kicking Grenolbe hooker Arnaud Heguy.

In his return match for Harlequins, England prop Joe Marler could miss more action after allegedly kicking Grenolbe hooker Arnaud Heguy.Source:Getty Images

The 25-year-old front-row forward was playing for the first time since serving a two-match ban for his “Gypsy boy” slur against Welshman Samson Lee in the Six Nations.

After the match, Harlequins boss Conor O’Shea defended Marler by saying: “Any test for a citing has to pass the red card test, and this does not pass that test.

“Should he do it? No. Is it a red card? No,” said former Ireland full-back O’Shea, who will leave Harlequins at the end of the season to become the new Italy head coach.

Dates for the latest disciplinary hearings involving Marler and Farrell have yet to be announced.

EPCR also said on Monday that Itoje had been issued with a warning for playing McIntyre without the ball, with a similar reprimand given to Grenoble’s Fabrice Estebanez for striking Harlequins wing Marland Yarde.

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