Tag Archives: cockerill

Luis Suarez banned for 10 games for bite on Chelsea"s Branislav Ivanovic

10 GAMES! Liverpool in the jaws of despair as Suarez slapped with huge ban for vicious bite on Ivanovic

11 MATCHES

Paolo Di Canio (Sheffield Wednesday): pushing over referee Paul Alcock in 1998

10 MATCHES

Kevin Keegan (Liverpool) and Billy Bremner (Leeds): fighting in the Charity Shield in 1974

David Putton (Southampton): pushing referee Alan Wiley in 2005

NINE MATCHES

Paul Davis (Arsenal): punching Glenn Cockerill in 1998

Steve Walsh (Leicester) discipline in 1987

Frank Sinclair (West Brom): clashing heads with the referee in 1992

EIGHT MATCHES

Luis Suarez (Liverpool): racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011

Ben Thatcher (Manchester City): elbowing Pedro Mendes in 2006

Mark Dennis (QPR): banned in 1987 for picking up his 11th career red card

Liverpool themselves were left shocked by the decision, which sees Suarez banned for two games more than he received after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011.

The club's managing director Ian Ayre said: 'Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today's Independent Regulatory Commission decision.

'We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment.'

The latest setback for Suarez means that since 2011, he has been banned for 26 matches, beyond the usual yellow and red cards.

He was hit with seven games at Ajax for biting Otman Bakkal, eight for the Evra incident, one more for flipping the middle finger at Fulham fans, and now 10 for biting again.

The tribunal took past behaviour and previous cases into consideration before reaching a
conclusion on Suarez, who was banned for seven games after he bit PSV
Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal in November 2010.

Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe escaped a
long ban and fine in October 2006 as he was booked after biting Javier
Mascherano, then of West Ham. Had Suarez been booked last Sunday, the FA
would have still had the power to take him to task as the rules have
changed since then.

Having accepted the FA’s charge,
Suarez was already set to miss the trip to
Newcastle on Saturday, the Merseyside derby at Anfield on May 5 and
Liverpool’s visit to Fulham on May 12.

Liverpool were condemned for their stance over Suarez, having already been rebuked for failing to administer
their own suspension. The matter has been taken so seriously that the
Prime Minister entered the debate on Monday.

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

GAMES SUAREZ WILL MISS

Luis Suarez will not play again for Liverpool this season. He will miss the trip to Newcastle this Saturday, the Merseyside derby at Anfield on May 5, and matches against Fulham and QPR.

Next season's fixtures are yet to be published, but it is expected that Liverpool will have seven games – six in the Premier League and one in the League Cup – by the end of September.

Suarez was fined an undisclosed amount – thought to be two weeks’ wages, a figure that equates to more than
200,000 – on Monday morning. He insisted that the money be donated to
the Hillsborough Families Support Group.

The 26-year-old was warned by Ayre that he was on his last chance at Anfield. The
Uruguay striker was found guilty by the FA in December 2011 of using
racially abusive language to Patrice Evra.

Liverpool have stressed that Suarez,
who has been strongly linked with Bayern Munich, will not be sold this
summer and have vowed to work with him to improve his behaviour.

Previous worst: (L-R) Duncan Ferguson, Ben Thatcher, Paolo Di Canio and Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan

Previous worst: (L-R) Duncan Ferguson, Ben Thatcher, Paolo Di Canio and Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan

Previous worst: (L-R) Duncan Ferguson, Ben Thatcher, Paolo Di Canio and Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan

Previous worst: (L-R) Duncan Ferguson, Ben Thatcher, Paolo Di Canio and Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan

Previous worst: (L-R) Duncan Ferguson, Ben Thatcher, Paolo Di Canio and Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan

VIDEO Liverpool's Managing Director on Suarez controversy

Liverpool to stand by Suarez

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Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

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Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

It's not the first time Suarez has used his teeth

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OTHER SUAREZ CONTROVERSIES

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is back in the spotlight after appearing to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, going on to score a late equaliser.

Here are some of the previous controversies surrounding the Uruguayan forward.

February 2007: Suarez made his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia but was sent off in the final minutes after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.

November 2007: Joined Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but he was later suspended by the Dutch giants after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.

July 2010: During the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Suarez prevented Ghana's Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off. A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan and footage showed Suarez celebrating on the sidelines. Uruguay eventually went through to the last four on penalties.

November 2010: Suarez was handed a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.

October 2011: Following his move to Liverpool in January 2011, he was involved in a tackle with Everton's Jack Rodwell and goes down with apparent minimal contact. Rodwell was then sent off.

October 2011: Suarez was alleged to have racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra during a Premier League match. Suarez was later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission and banned for eight matches and fined 40,000.

December 2011: Was seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans. At this time he had already been charged by the Football Association over the racism incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one-match ban for the gesture.

February 2012: United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, but more controversy blew up as Suarez refused to shake Evra's hand before kick-off.

October 2012: Celebrated a goal against Everton by diving in front of Toffees boss David Moyes who had earlier claimed that 'divers' such as Suarez were putting fans off the English game.

January 2013: Handles the ball prior to scoring Liverpool's winner in the FA Cup third round tie at Mansfield.

April 2013: Bites Branislav Ivanovic on the arm but
escapes punishment on the pitch as the referee fails to see it, and
scores Liverpool's equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time as they
draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Anfield. Fined by club the following day and
charged with violent conduct by the FA. Subsequently handed a 10-match
ban by an independent regulatory commission.

London Irish 9 Leicester 31: match report

London Irish 9 Leicester 31: Shaky Tigers end up with big win

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UPDATED:

22:19 GMT, 22 December 2012

Leicester possessed sufficient control in the pack and enough all-round determination to cope with the filthy conditions at the Madejski and condemn London Irish to a fifth straight Premiership defeat.

In the process, the Tigers cemented their place in the Premiership’s top four.

The visitors took the lead after 12 minutes following a piece of vision by Toby Flood.

Out of my way: Geordan Murphy of Leicester Tigers shrugs off David Paice

Out of my way: Geordan Murphy of Leicester Tigers shrugs off David Paice

With the Exiles expecting a kick to
touch, the Leicester fly-half sent a precise cross-kick into the arms
of Niall Morris, who crossed to touch down for a try in the opposite
corner. Flood added the conversion.

Irish’s early chances were limited to a
hack and hope from Topsy Ojo, which trickled over the dead ball line,
before Leicester’s forward dominance earned a 31st-minute penalty try.

Ian Humphreys’ penalty narrowed the
margin on the stroke of half-time, but the writing was clear on the
Irish wall, even through the murk.

The only blot on Leicester’s copybook
was the 46th-minute sin-binning of scrum-half Ben Youngs for interfering
with an Irish tap penalty.

Resistance: Marcos Ayerza holds off Bryn Evans

Resistance: Marcos Ayerza holds off Bryn Evans

In his absence, Humphreys struck twice
to narrow the margin to five points, but Young’s return saw the
visitors seal the game in emphatic style.

Flood kicked a penalty 13 minutes from
time before Jamie Gibson obstructed Morris as he raced to touch down
after Flood’s sublime break, earning both a penalty try and a
sin-binning.

In the dying moments, Morris claimed
the touchdown which should have been his hat-trick, with Flood
converting the bonus point try to cap an emphatic day for the Tigers.

It was a ‘disappointing’ afternoon,
according to London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith, while his
counterpart, Richard Cockerill, predictably, was ‘pleased’ with the
battling bonus point.

They were differing emotions doubtless shared by all 10,958 in the sodden crowd.

Release: Toby Flood offloads under pressure from Sailosi Tagicakibau

Release: Toby Flood offloads under pressure from Sailosi Tagicakibau

Toby Flood not fazed by threat to England place

Flood not fazed by threat to England place with No 10 ready to return for Leicester

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 19 December 2012

England fly-half Toby Flood insists he is not worried by the increasing competition for his international place.

Flood is fit to play for Leicester after overcoming a toe injury sustained in England’s defeat by South Africa last month.

Owen Farrell and Freddie Burns were impressive in his absence against New Zealand but Flood is not fazed.

Blow: Toby Flood missed England's triumph over the All Blacks with injury

Blow: Toby Flood missed England's triumph over the All Blacks with injury

‘I’m not fussed about it. It’s the way it goes. It seemed like a good one (the All Blacks match) to miss in terms of the way they were playing,’ he joked. ‘But credit to the lads, the way they finished off was very impressive. I just want to get back.’

Flood, who started England’s first three autumn matches, looks set to regain his Leicester place ahead of England Under 20 fly-half George Ford for the Aviva Premiership match at London Irish on Saturday.

A goal-kicking record of nearly 79 per cent this season makes Flood Leicester’s No 1, despite the promise of Ford, whose accuracy is only around 59 per cent. Leicester also hope to have England flanker Tom Croft back on duty over the holiday period.

He has been pencilled in for a comeback in the home game against Gloucester on December 29.

Croft has not played since April because of a neck injury and his comeback will be carefully managed. ‘It’s a matter of getting his confidence back,’ said Leicester’s director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

Treviso 13 Leicester 14: Tigers" Heineken Cup hopes back on track after last gasp penalty try

Treviso 13 Leicester 14: Tigers' Heineken Cup hopes back on track after last gasp penalty try

PUBLISHED:

16:49 GMT, 15 December 2012

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UPDATED:

21:35 GMT, 15 December 2012

Richard Cockerill was left seething after a controversial penalty try almost derailed his team's Heineken Cup hopes.

But it was a second penalty try two minutes from time – this time for Leicester – that got the Tigers out of jail and took them top of Pool Two.

Victory salute: Leicester Tigers players salute their fans after winning in Italy

Touching down: Thompstone of Leicester tucked away a try after 14 minutes

That was only after Irish referee
Alain Rolland frustrated Leicester with his award of a first-half
penalty try, even though Treviso's pack were still 20 yards from the
line.

Leicester coach Cockerill said: 'I
have never seen anything like it in the 30 years that I have been
involved with rugby. If that had been awarded for us I would have sat in
my chair in embarrassment.'

Trailing 13-7 with the final whistle
looming and Treviso eyeing a famous win, Cockerill's men ground out the
winning score as their power in the scrum finally told.

George Ford held his nerve to convert and send Leicester ahead of Toulouse in the standings.

Cockerill said: 'We're obviously
very relieved. Treviso made us work exceptionally hard but you have to
congratulate our players for sticking in there.'

Ben Youngs set up Adam Johnstone on 14 minutes but Alberto Di Bernardo kicked Treviso ahead before the drama.

Richard Cockerill, Leicester Tigers Head Coach

Back on track: Richard Cockerill's men have lived to fight another day

Pool Two now looks like a three-way
fight, with Ospreys beating Toulouse in the other fixture. The Tigers'
final day fixture against the French side is likely to decide their
destiny.

For Treviso,
progression from the group has never really been a realistic goal, but
there was much pride to play for having perfumed so well in the reverse
fixture, only to come away with nothing.

Once again they deserved so much better after an heroic effort.

Alberto Di Bernardo kicked everything that came his way for Franco Smith's men.

Ben Youngs and Tom Youngs sign new contracts at Leicester

Youngs boost for Leicester as brothers extend stay at Welford Road

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UPDATED:

10:08 GMT, 20 November 2012

Leicester have announced new long-term contracts for England internationals Ben and Tom Youngs.

The brothers are currently part of
head coach Stuart Lancaster's England set-up, and both were involved in
last Saturday's 20-14 home defeat against Australia.

Family affair: Tom Youngs (right) and brother Ben (left) with father Nick

Family affair: Tom Youngs (right) and brother Ben (left) with father Nick

Scrum-half Ben has won 26 caps and recently clocked up a century of appearances for the Tigers. He made his Leicester debut five years ago and has played in four Premiership finals.

Hooker Tom, meanwhile, made his Test debut against Fiji earlier this month, having first featured for Leicester as a centre in 2006 before being converted into a front-row forward.

Both players are Leicester academy products.

Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill said: 'It is excellent news that both Tom and Ben have agreed new deals with us. They are both very important to the club.

Youngs at heart: Ben and Tom played against Australia at the weekend

Youngs at heart: Ben and Tom played against Australia at the weekend

'They have grown up in a Leicester Tigers family. Their dad Nick played for the club, they know the history of this place and they have come all the way through the academy system here before establishing themselves as key first-team players.

'Ben and Tom both have an excellent attitude to their work.

'They are the kind of players we want to build the club around for the future, and we look forward to their continued development in the Tigers squad over the years to come.'

Tom Croft, Ben Youngs and Alex Corbisiero doubts for Twickenham series

Lancaster dealt triple injury blow as Croft, Youngs and Corbisiero could all be out for autumn Test series

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UPDATED:

00:05 GMT, 6 September 2012

England head coach Stuart Lancaster is facing the prospect of being without Tom Croft, Ben Youngs and Alex Corbisiero for the daunting autumn Test series at Twickenham.

The trio of leading players could struggle to regain full fitness by mid-November after injuries which have prevented them starting the season.

England take on Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand on successive Saturdays from November 10 to December 1.

Worry: Tom Croft could miss a trying Test series at Twickenham

Worry: Tom Croft could miss a trying Test series at Twickenham

Croft and Youngs, the Leicester flanker and scrum-half, have neck and knee injuries and their director of rugby Richard Cockerill said on Wednesday: 'They are doing well but it will be two months.'

The same verdict has been given by London Irish's director of rugby Brian Smith on Corbisiero, the country's premier loosehead prop, who needed surgery on a knee injury sustained on England's summer tour of South Africa.

Youngs was also injured on that trip when he hurt his shoulder in the second Test. Lancaster had hoped the 22-year-old would be fit by mid-October but it seems he will be out for longer.

Croft has not played since last April when he hurt his neck during the Aviva Premiership game against Harlequins at The Stoop.

However, the outlook for Northampton lock Courtney Lawes is thought to be more positive.

Lawes, 23, missed most of last season's Six Nations and England's summer tour with a shin injury, then damaged an elbow in pre-season training and needed surgery.

Him too: Alex Corbisiero (centre, white shirt) could also miss the matches

Him too: Alex Corbisiero (centre, white shirt) could also miss the matches

'He's a few weeks away yet,' said Northampton's director of rugby, Jim Mallinder.

Meanwhile, with the Lions tour of Australia still nine months away, the verbal sparring has begun after Warren Gatland lit the fuse on Tuesday.

Speaking at his unveiling as head coach, the Kiwi said the Lions should be prepared for a dirty tricks campaign from the host nation, orchestrated by John O'Neill – the notorious ARU chief executive.

The Wales coach suggested O'Neill has exerted a sly influence over the officiating of Australia matches, saying: 'They are masters at it and possibly the best one was John O'Neill, as a master of influence in certain things.

'I don't see any better example than how the (World Cup) quarter-final between South Africa and Austral ia last year was influenced. It was a masterstroke.

Headache: Head coach Stuart Lancaster (centre) could be without three vital players

Headache: Head coach Stuart Lancaster (centre) could be without three vital players

'I'm not 100 per cent sure but I think that, after Ireland beat Australia in that pool game, certain complaints were made about the referee, subtly and tactfully, and I think that had an impact on the quarter-final (refereed by the same official from New Zealand, Bryce Lawrence).

'We've got to be aware about what sort of things are going to be done on and off the field.'

In response yesterday, O'Neill played down any underhand activity but said the ARU made 'enquiries about interpretations at the breakdown' following the defeat by Ireland.

The up-shot was a performance by Lawrence in the quarter-finals which led to South African fury about the leeway given to Australia flanker David Pocock at rucks.

And him! Ben Youngs is also a doubt for the match

And him! Ben Youngs is also a doubt for the match

'It's quite flattering for Warren to give us credit for influencing referees but the reality is we all know referees are beyond reproach,' said O'Neill.

Gatland also cited an issue from the 2001 Lions tour of Australia, when the ARU spent AU$100,000 (about 64,000) on merchandise which was handed out free to home fans, while supporters of the visitors were crammed into distant corners of the bigger stadiums.

He warned the 2013 tourists would be ready for 'an orchestrated campaign in Australia to build them up and potentially make things difficult for us'.

O'Neill added: 'The forthcoming Lions tour wouldn't be the same without a few theatrical distractions and the odd ambush.'

England fly-half Toby Flood faces battle to keep No 10 shirt at Leicester

Flood dilemma for England as fly-half faces battle to keep Leicester No 10 jersey

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UPDATED:

17:07 GMT, 28 August 2012

Fifty-cap England fly-half Toby Flood
has been warned that he may have to accept a job-share arrangement with
rising star George Ford when Leicester's Aviva Premiership campaign
opens on Sunday.

Flood regained the England No 10
jersey during the summer Test series against South Africa but, as
Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill reminded him, nothing is
guaranteed at Welford Road.

Warning: Toby Flood of Leicester

Warning: Toby Flood of Leicester

Ford, a member of the England Saxons squad, spent his summer in the gym and the 19-year-old is now in a position to compete with Flood to be Leicester's first-choice fly-half.

Cockerill believes both men are good enough to be in the senior England squad – but only one can start for the Tigers.

'At Leicester in particular, nobody's spot is guaranteed,' Cockerill said.

'We have seen in the past that guys have been left out of the side, when on paper you would have picked them.

'Toby reacts to it very well. He knows that he needs to play very well to be in the side because he wants to play for England.

'George Ford is younger but he is a very good player too. I am hoping he will kick on and be really good for us. Toby the same.

'Both need to play for us. We want to keep them both long term.

'Like we have with (tight-head props) Dan Cole and Martin Castrogiovanni. They are both playing Test matches, they are both playing for their club.

'They understand that not playing every week is beneficial. The difficulty is if they are both playing well.

'It is a great headache to have, two really good fly-halves.'

Rival: George Ford

Rival: George Ford

The situation is both good and bad news for England coach Stuart Lancaster, who will be excited to hear that Ford has developed his physique and is in form after a summer of conditioning.

But Lancaster could have only one of his top four fly-halves – Freddie Burns of Gloucester – playing regularly in the pivotal position during the Premiership season.

Lancaster's back-up Test fly-half Owen Farrell is expected to spend most of the coming campaign in the centres for Saracens.

Outside of Lancaster's two elite squads, Danny Cipriani has returned to the Premiership with the stated ambition of regaining his place in the England set-up for the 2015 World Cup.

Cipriani will need to prove himself to Lancaster but, fitness permitting, he will have that stage at Sale Sharks while Bath's Tom Heathcote has to compete with Stephen Donald.

Last summer, Ford helped the England Under-20s to the final of the Junior World Championship and he was named the International Rugby Board's young player of the year for 2011.

After a debate between club and country, Ford did not tour with an England representative team in June and instead worked on bulking up to meet the rigorous demands of the Premiership.

'It was the right thing to do,' Cockerill said.

'It is perfect. He is 88-89 kilos. When he came home from the Junior World Cup last summer he was 79 kilos.

'He is quicker and more powerful and more robust than he has been before.

'It was a sensible decision from both club and country because if George kicks on this year he will not have another off-season for a long time.

'England have two fly-halves in the senior squad. George and Freddie Burns are in the Saxons. If there is an injury you would imagine one of those guys will get roped into the first team.'

Shane Geraghty to rejoin London Irish

Geraghty agrees to rejoin London Irish three years after walking out on Exiles

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UPDATED:

19:00 GMT, 24 April 2012

Moving on: Shane Geraghty (left)

Moving on: Shane Geraghty (left)

London Irish confirmed that Shane
Geraghty will be returning to the club from French side Brive in the
summer, but he won't be joined at the Madejski Stadium by Mike Tindall.

With the Exiles releasing several
players at the end of the current season, it is understood that they
will announce the signing of another centre later this week.

But despite rumours linking Tindall with a move from Gloucester, Irish have had no contact with the former England captain.

Geraghty is coming home after a season at Brive to reignite his England prospects ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

The 25-year-old back has won six caps to date, the last in November 2009 against the All Blacks.

Sportsmail
understands the return of Brian Smith for a second term as the Exiles'
director of rugby convinced Geraghty to rejoin his first club.

Previous: Geraghty left London Irish for Northampton in 2009

Previous: Geraghty left London Irish for Northampton in 2009

Meanwhile, England and Harlequins
captain Chris Robshaw leads a six-man shortlist for the Aviva
Premiership Player of the Year award, announced on May 8.

There are two other openside flankers
on the list, Julian Salvi (Leicester) and James Scaysbrook (Exeter),
along with Mike Brown, Brad Barritt and Nick Wood.

The director of rugby award is a
contest between Harlequins' Conor O'Shea, Leicester's Richard Cockerill
and Exeter's Rob Baxter.

Calum Clark banned until further notice by Northampton

Clark banned indefinitely by Saints after Hawkins suffers broken elbow in cup final

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UPDATED:

10:46 GMT, 23 March 2012

Northampton have announced that they have suspended flanker Calum Clark from playing until further notice.

Clark was cited and will face a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing next week following an alleged incident of foul play during last Sunday's LV= Cup final between Saints and Leicester at Worcester.

England elite squad member Clark is accused of an act contrary to good sportsmanship for hyper-extending Tigers hooker Rob Hawkins' arm during the game. Hawkins suffered a broken elbow.

Incident: Rob Hawkins' elbow was broken during this ruck at Sixways

Incident: Rob Hawkins' elbow was broken during this ruck at Sixways

In a statement, Northampton said: 'Northampton Saints has conducted an internal investigation regarding an alleged incident during last Sunday's LV
Cup final.

'Following the completion of this investigation the club's management has suspended Calum Clark from playing until further notice.

'Northampton Saints will make no further comment about this issue.'

It is a clear pre-emptive strike by Northampton ahead of 22-year-old Clark's RFU appearance next Monday.

In action: Clark (right) tackles George Ford in the LV=Cup final last week

In action: Clark (right) tackles George Ford in the LV=Cup final last week

Suspended: Northampton's Calum Clark

Suspended: Northampton flanker Clark

Hawkins is not expected to play again
this season as a result of the injury, and Clark, who captained Saints
in the LV= Cup final, could face a significant punishment.

Television footage of the game shows former Bath forward Hawkins reeling away in agony from a 21st-minute ruck. It was an incident that enraged Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill.

'If Calum Clark is deemed to have done it on purpose it's pretty horrendous,' Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester. 'Something has gone on there, but we will let them look at it and sort it out.

'It's a pretty poor act. I think it is really out of order, and in my opinion it's as bad an injury as I've seen on a rugby field.'

VIDEO: Rob Hawkins suffers broken elbow in LV=Cup final

WARNING – CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGE OF INJURY

Clark, in the immediate term, will miss Northampton's Aviva Premiership clash at home to Wasps. Saints are currently fourth in the table and pressing for a title play-off place.

And it promises to be a difficult week for Northampton, with their England hooker Dylan Hartley facing a Six Nations disciplinary hearing in London next Tuesday.

Hartley was cited for allegedly biting Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris' finger during the RBS 6 Nations clash between the countries at Twickenham last Saturday.

Clark charged over Hawkins injury incident in LV= Cup final

Clark charged over Hawkins injury incident in LV= Cup final

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UPDATED:

18:05 GMT, 21 March 2012

Northampton flanker Calum Clark has been cited for an incident which led to Leicester’s Rob Hawkins suffering a broken elbow in the LV= Cup final.

Clark, a member of England’s elite squad, is charged with hyperextending Hawkins’ right arm and he will appear before a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing on Monday.

Hawkins, 28, is expected to be out of action for up to three months and he will miss the remainder of the Tigers’ Aviva Premiership season.

Crunch: Calum Clark makes a tackle during the final

Crunch: Calum Clark makes a tackle during the final

The 21st-minute incident in Leicester’s 26-14 prompted an angry response from Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

'Rob has fractured his elbow and he will be out for eight to 12 weeks,' Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury before the citing had been confirmed.

'It’s a pretty horrendous injury and if Calum Clark is deemed to have done that on purpose by the powers that be and found guilty, it’s a pretty poor act.

'In my opinion, it is as bad as I have seen on a rugby field.'

Clark was cited for an act contrary to good sportsmanship following a report from citing officer Tony Lanaway.

The case will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice by an RFU disciplinary panel chaired by His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett.