Dylan Hartley receives six week ban for striking Sean O'Brien

The England captain will return for the start of the Six Nations campaign

Dylan Hartley

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie 

England captain Dylan Hartley will be available for the start of his side's Six Nations title defence after receiving a six week ban.

Hartley was red-carded for striking Sean O'Brien during Leinster's European Champions Cup victory over Northampton.

The 30-year-old lasted under 10 minutes on the field of play after coming on as a substitute and was given punishment because of his poor disciplinary record.

The strike was adjudged to have been a 'mid-range offence' by a disciplinary committee. He was given an additional two weeks for his record but had one week stricken for a guilty plea.

He'll be out until the January 23rd - with England's opening Six Nations match with France coming nearly two weeks later.

Hartley has now accumulated 60 weeks worth of bans over the course of his professional career.