Bath full-back Anthony Watson could face the prospect of being ruled out of England’s summer tour of Australia should Tuesday night's Rugby Football Union disciplinary tribunal hand out a hefty ban for an alleged high tackle on Saracens full-back Alex Goode.
The 22-year-old was sent off, and later cited, for tackling Goode in the air during Premiership leaders Saracens’ 30-10 victory over struggling Bath at the Recreation Ground on Friday 1 April.
A top end sanction would see Watson, who featured in every game for England during this year’s Grand Slam-winning Six Nations campaign, banned for 10 weeks. The minimum punishment is a two-week suspension.
England face Wales at Twickenham on 29 May before travelling Down Under for a three-Test showdown with Michael Cheika’s World Cup finalists Australia during June.
Watson, who has won 20 caps for England, will also face a second charge when he goes before the three-man panel in Bristol tonight after being alleged to have used “offensive, inappropriate and unprofessional language” towards a match official in the same clash.
Former London Irish flyer Watson could face penalties ranging from a reprimand, financial sanctions or suspension if he is found guilty of unsportsmanlike behaviour following his spat with the fourth official following his dismissal.
Bath were beaten 28-16 by Saracens in last season’s Premiership final at Twickenham but have struggled to replicate such form this term. Head coach Mike Ford’s side languish ninth in the table -- 30 points behind Saracens -- with four matches of the regular season remaining.