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Nathan Hughes availability for autumn internationals uncertain after citing for punching

Nathan Hughes faces a wait to see if his hopes of appearing in England’s autumn schedule are over after he was cited for punching Lewis Ludlow.

The incident involving Lewis Ludlow occurred during Wasps 21-35 defeat to Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena, and a disciplinary panel will decide whether the number 8 punched Ludlow in the head.

If found guilty of the citing charge, Hughes could face a six-week ban which would rule him out of England’s first three internationals against South Africa, New Zealand and Japan, as well as making him available for Wasps for their Champions Cup fixtures against holders Leinster.

Video footage released by the RFU shows Hughes being pinned down by Ludlow and retaliating by throwing a punch to the left side of the Gloucester flanker’s head.

A ban for Hughes would hamper Eddie Jones’ back row plans further, after Exeter Chiefs number 8 Sam Simmonds tore his anterior cruciate ligament and Billy Vunipola works towards regaining full fitness.

The England vice-captain admitted he was a little ‘rusty’ in Saracens win over Harlequins at the weekend, but he did play for the full 80 minutes as Sarries ran out 25-20 victors.

Meanwhile, Ludlow has also been cited for a stamping on Elliot Daly in a separate incident.

Hughes and Ludlow will attend their hearings on Wednesday a 6.30pm.

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