England captain Dylan Hartley available for Six Nations campaign after being handed six-week ban

NIK SIMON: Dylan Hartley will not be stripped of the England captaincy after escaping with a six-week ban that leaves him free to play in the RBS Six Nations opener against France. The Northampton hooker was last night handed a mid-range sanction following the third red card of his career for striking Leinster flanker Sean O’Brien. Having cleaned up his image in 2016, the punishment is a fresh setback for Hartley, who has now amassed 60 weeks of suspensions throughout his controversial career, including bans for gouging, biting, punching, swearing at a referee and headbutting.

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