Dylan Hartley: England hooker charged over 'headbutt'

Dylan Hartley in action for Northampton
Hartley was suspended for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia

Northampton and England hooker Dylan Hartley will face a disciplinary panel on Wednesday after being charged with headbutting an opponent.

Hartley, 29, was cited after an incident involving Jamie George during Saracens' 29-24 victory in Saturday's Premiership semi-final.

England coach Stuart Lancaster has previously warned Hartley, who has been banned five times, over his discipline.

He is likely to miss at least the World Cup warm-up games if found guilty.

The entry point for the offence is four weeks and disciplinary regulations state any ban must include matches.

That would mean Hartley - who has missed 50 weeks of his career through suspensions for offences ranging from gouging and biting to abusing a referee - would be sidelined for England's three fixtures in the lead-up to the World Cup.

Lancaster's side face France at Twickenham on 15 August, a week before meeting the same opposition at Stade de France.

Their final match before the World Cup - which begins on 18 September and is being hosted by England and Wales - will be against Ireland at Twickenham on 5 September.

Hartley missed the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia after he was banned for 11 weeks for being sent off during the Premiership final.

The Northampton captain was shown a red card for swearing at referee Wayne Barnes and calling him a "cheat".

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