By Lee Stace

WHAT a disgrace.

England hooker Dylan Hartley has only received an eight-week suspension for biting Ireland loose forward Stephen Ferris during the Six Nations, meaning he is available for England selection when the side takes on the Springboks in a three-test series in June.

His suspension is four weeks fewer than the low-end entry point in the International Rugby Board’s table of sanctions!

Unbelievable, especially as some would claim that Hartley is bad to the bone. That the New Zealand-born rake is ill-disciplined and a bit of a thug on the field.

Hartley is no stranger to those who sit on the disciplinary panels in Europe.

A trouble-maker by nature, he was banned for 26 weeks for eye-gouging James Haskell and Jonny O’Connor during the Northampton v London Wasps game in 2007.

He also dropped a forearm on a prone Richie McCaw at Twickenham in 2010, was implicated alongside Haskell and Chris Ashton in an alleged sexual harassment incident involving a Dunedin hotel maid during last year’s Rugby World Cup, and took part in the alleged mistreatment of dwarves during the England team’s infamous night out in Queenstown.

Off-field shenanigans aside, it was thought that Hartley would have the book thrown at him for his latest indiscretion given his previous rap sheet.

Biting carries a low-end entry point of a 12-week suspension, while the mid-range punishment is 18 weeks and there is a ban of 24-plus weeks at the top end. The maximum sanction is a four-year punishment.

Hartley got off lightly. He was handed a 12-week suspension which was then reduced by the panel to eight weeks on account of his ‘good behaviour’ in the last five years.

The 25-year old then had the cheek to say that he was “disappointed with the result” after the hearing.

God only knows why. Especially as Hartley’s ban lapses on May 14, meaning he will be free to travel with England to South Africa in June.

He should be counting his lucky stars, as the punishment could – and should – have been more severe.

Posted Comments

bollocks!!! get off the guys back. the only thing he did wrong was not having a decent feed before the game.... or maybe watching those old school wrestling vids was a bad move.
It is indeed a disgrace. The punishment should increase, not decrease with each new additional offence. He is a recalcitrant offender who should not be playing the game.
If someones fingers are near your eyes or on your face and you are in a ruck; wouldn't you do the same if the only defence you had were your teeth?
Another example of the IRB pandering to the needs, wants and desires of the northern unions...
ian Reed
Biting is definitely bad news but in this professional era players do lots worse without the Ref seeing it and then claim 'it wasn't me ref!' We haven't seen what went on before the incident, the panel did so perhaps thats why he only got 8wks?
What ball is played with this sport soccer.
You are allowed only 100 words for comments.
Your have 100 words left.

We at and NZ Rugby News Ltd like to keep our readers up to date with the latest news, offers from our sites and information from our partners. We are committed to protecting your privacy and will not pass your details on to any company outside of our network.

We at NZ Rugby News Ltd invite our readers (you) to post comments on the blogs on our website. Please read our terms and conditions below.

Please note the views which are expressed in the comment areas are not our views, nor the views of any of our staff. We accept no liability in respect to any material posted in the comments areas and are not responsible for the content and accuracy of that material.

If you place reliance on material posted in the comments area, you do so at your own risk, and you indemnify us from any liabilities, claims, costs, loss (including consequential loss) or damage suffered or caused by doing so.

If you comment on our blogs, the following terms and conditions apply.

Our rights

We retain the right (but not the obligation) to edit, delete, reject or remove any comment which you post or want to post in our blog areas.

You grant us non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, worldwide licence to republish any material you submit to us, without limitation, in any format.

We retain the right to terminate your ability to comment on our blogs if we believe you are abusing the service in any way, or have breached these terms and conditions.

You consent to our collecting and storing your email and IP address for security purposes and you will also receive a complementary subscription to RugbyEnews.

Your obligations

You will not be able to post the following comments on our blogs:

(a) Anything which is not an original work or infringes upon the copyright, registered trademark or intellectual property rights of another person;

(b) Anything which is or could be deemed to be obscene, offensive, pornographic, vulgar, profane, indecent or otherwise illegal;

(c) Anything which is defamatory towards a person, company or organisation.

(d) Anything which racially or religiously vilifies, incites violence or hatred, or is likely to offend, insult or humiliate others based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or any physical or mental disability;

(e) Anything which you know or suspect is false, misleading or deceptive.

(f) Anything which advertises or promotes goods, services and products in a commercial manner; or

(g) Anything which provides financial advice or advice of any kind to any financial product.



You agree to fully indemnify and hold us harmless against any liabilities, claims, costs, loss (including consequential loss) or damage incurred as a result of any comments you post in our blog area, or as a result of any breach by you of these terms and conditions.

Notwithstanding any indemnity provided by you under these terms and conditions, we retain the right to assume the conduct of any defence to a claim brought against us and of any proceedings or appeal issued by us, and you agree to provide all reasonable cooperation (including making relevant documents available) that we may require from you in relation to any such claim, proceeding or appeal.

These terms and conditions shall be construed and applied in accordance with the laws of New Zealand, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the New Zealand Courts to determine any matter or dispute which arises under these terms and conditions in accordance with the laws of New Zealand.

Upcoming Matches

2014 Super Rugby fixtures

2014 Super Rugby fixtures

All the fixtures you need to plan your viewing pleasure!

Fixtures & Results

Super Rugby
Heartland Championship
Rugby World Cup 2011


Mark Calverley Super Rugby - Not going to plan for NZ teams. Should we worry?

Not all our own way for NZ teams

By Mark Calverley

Mark Calverley Benji - Should he stay or should he go?

Pressure is on Benji, but shouldn't we remember SBW went to France (Toulon) for 2 years to learn the game.

By Mark Calverley

Mark Calverley Concussion

With all of the news around concussion do you think there should be safety measures in place for players to ensure they don't play on after a head know? How and who should police that?

By Mark Calverley

Mark Calverley Club Rugby - How to get the MOJO back

With the start of club rugby upon us, how can we maintain the value of the clubs in player pathways and community spirit.

By Mark Calverley