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Saints suspend Clark indefinitely

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 hyperextending Tigers hooker Rob Hawkins' arm during the game. Hawkins suffered a broken elbow.

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.

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."

The RFU later confirmed Clark's hearing had been put back to Thursday, March 29 at 11am by mutual agreement. Clark's case will be heard at Twickenham.


From Belfast Telegraph