Saracens wing Chris Ashton could be banned for the remainder of the year after being cited for two counts of biting during his side’s Premiership clash with Northampton Saints on Saturday.
Ashton is alleged to have bitten Northampton prop Alex Waller on two separate occasions during the match; once in the 24th minute of a tussle which Sarries won 27-12, and the second a minute later.
The 29-year-old will appear before a Rugby Football Union panel, chaired by Philip Evans QC, on Tuesday evening charged with acts contrary to good sportsmanship.
Ashton, who has been branded the Mario Balotelli of rugby union by former England centre Will Greenwood, is no stranger to controversy and missed this year’s Six Nations after being handed a 10-week ban for making contact with an opponent’s eye.
The low-entry point for the suspension is 12 weeks, while a top end biting offence begins at 24 weeks. Should he be found guilty, Ashton, who last played for England in the summer of 2014, is likely to miss a large section of Saracens’ domestic and European campaign.