Wednesday saw three England internationals up for disciplinary hearings – Dylan Hartley, Nathan Hughes and Joe Marler all faced possible bans for offences in the Champions Cup at the weekend.
Hughes was suspended for two weeks, Hartley received no ban while Marler received a three week ban.
Hughes was selected in Eddie Jones’ 34-man squad due to his ban only being two weeks in duration but Marler was left out due to his three week suspension which ruled him out of the first two Tests. The official statement stated that Marler would not be available to play until midnight on Sunday, 19 November which meant that he would miss both the Argentina (11th November) and Australia (18th November) games.
However, according to a BBC Sport report, Marler will be available for the Australia clash as the decision to implement his three-week ban over a four-week period is set to be reversed.
The ban originally didn’t include the Anglo-Welsh cup match with Saracens on November 5 as the panel deemed he wouldn’t likely be playing in that fixture anyway. It is understood that Harlequins have successfully queried this decision resulting in Marler’s availability for the Australia match.
All of this is a bit confusing because Hughes’ two-week ban included Wasps’ Anglo-Welsh Cup clash on the same weekend but not Marler’s.
However, a u-turn seems to have been made thanks to some pressure from Quins and Marler looks set to be available for selection after the first Test against Argentina.