Harlequins prop Joe Marler's involvement in the upcoming Six Nations campaign for England will depend on the outcome of his disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.
Marler was red-carded in the 57th minute of the Aviva Premiership game against Sale Sharks for striking TJ Ioane with the shoulder and his sent-off affected his team as they went on to lose the game 30-29.
Now the 27-year-old will appear before an independent Rugby Football Union (RFU) disciplinary panel on Tuesday in London, where he could receive a ban of a minimum of six weeks that puts his participation in the Six Nations in doubt.
"Joe Marler of Harlequins will appear before an independent disciplinary panel and TJ Ioane of Sale Sharks has been cited by independent citing commissioner for incidents in the Aviva Premiership game between the two sides," read an RFU statement.
"Marler received a red card from referee Matt Carley during Saturday's Aviva Premiership match against Sale Sharks for striking with the shoulder and making contact with Sale Sharks' TJ Ioane, contrary to law 9.12 in the 58th minute.
"His hearing will take place in London on Tuesday, January 9 at 18:30. The panel will be chaired by Philip Evans QC with Aidan O'Brien and Becky Essex."
Marler already missed England's autumn international game with Argentina due to suspension.
Meanwhile, Ioane himself has been cited after charges of him striking Marler with arm in the 53rd minute of the same game.
"Ioane of Sale Sharks has been cited by independent citing commissioner Shaun Gallagher and will appear before an independent disciplinary panel," continued the RFU statement.
"Ioane is charged with striking Harlequins' Joe Marler with the arm, contrary to law 9.12. The incident occurred in the 53rd minute of the same match.
"The hearing will take place via telephone on Tuesday 9 January at 19;30. The panel will be chaired by Philip Evans QC with Aidan O'Brien and Becky Essex."
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