England's banned Hughes to miss three Tests

LONDON: Injury-hit England's problems intensified Thursday when Wasps No 8 Nathan Hughes was given a six-week ban that will see him miss three of their four Nov Tests, the Rugby Football Union announced.

His disciplinary case, following a citing for punching during an English Premiership game against Gloucester on Oct 6, was adjourned after the back-row forward tweeted “what a joke” during the initial lengthy hearing on Oct 10.

Now a two-week punishment for the tweet will run concurrently with the ban for striking an opponent after another marathon hearing that produced a ruling published at 1:00am local time (0000 GMT) Thursday.

That was just some eight-and-a-half hours before England coach Eddie Jones was due to name his squad for the Twickenham Tests with South Africa (Nov3), New Zealand (Nov 10), Japan (Nov 17) — all of which Hughes is now set to miss — and Australia (Nov 24).

Hughes's fellow back-row forwards Billy Vunipola, Sam Simmonds and Chris Robshaw were among a lengthy casualty list of England players already ruled out of the November series through injury. — AFP

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