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England prop Marler banned 6 weeks, missing 2 6N games

LONDON (AP) Prop Joe Marler will miss England's first two Six Nations rugby matches after he was issued a six-week ban on Tuesday.

Marler was sent off for striking TJ Ioane with the shoulder on Saturday as Harlequins lost to Sale 30-29 in the English Premiership.

Marler pleaded guilty to the charge at an English Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing, and was suspended to Feb. 20.

That costs the prop from playing for England in Italy on Feb. 4 and against Wales on Feb. 10. He will be available for the third-round match in Scotland on Feb. 24.

Marler also missed a November international against Argentina because of a three-week ban.

Ioane, a Samoa international, received a two-week suspension for striking Marler with his arm.

Updated January 9, 2018