Youngs cited for allegedly striking Gibson in Leicester's win over Exiles
20:14 GMT, 28 March 2012
Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs has become the third England player to be disciplined in the past seven days.
He has been barred by Leicester from the Aviva Premiership game against Worcester at home on Friday night. Youngs is awaiting an RFU disciplinary panel next week following a clash with London Irish forward Jamie Gibson last Sunday.
Youngs faces a charge of striking Gibson as the pair wrestled on the ground in a first-half incident. At one stage he was seen to drop his knee on to Gibson after the Irish player had held him down.
Cited: Ben Youngs has been cited for striking London Irish's Jamie Gibson
Facing a ban: If found guilty Youngs could face a ban of anything from two-weeks to 12-weeks
An RFU statement said: 'Ben Youngs of
Leicester Tigers will appear before an RFU Disciplinary Panel after
being cited for striking London Irish’s Jamie Gibson contrary to Law
10(4)(a) during the Aviva Premiership match at the Madejski Stadium on
March 25 following a report by the match citing officer Wade Dooley.'
Law 10 (4)(a) covers striking with both the knee and a hand, arm or fist. The minimum suspension Youngs could receive if found guilty would be the low-end entry point of two weeks, while the high-end entry point is a ban of 12 weeks or more.
Any suspension would harm Leicester’s bid to reach an eighth-straight Premiership final as the domestic season enters its closing stages, while a lengthy ban would put Youngs’ availability for England’s summer tour to South Africa in doubt.
Youngs' problems follow those of hooker Dylan Hartley and uncapped flanker Calum Clark, a member of the Six Nations squad. Hartley was banned for eight weeks this week after he was found guilty of biting Ireland’s Stephen Ferris in the final Six Nations game.
Hartley’s Northampton colleague Clark was cited after the LV= Cup final against Leicester and is accused of wrenching hooker Rob Hawkins’ elbow, which required surgery.