Six Nations news: Harlequins prop Joe Marler set to miss first six games

The Harlequins prop was sent off by referee Matt Carley in the 57th minute for driving his shoulder into the head of Sale’s TJ Ioane at a ruck, and having already served one three-match ban this season can expect the worst at his hearing.

“When someone is defenceless and you can knock them with your shoulder it’s probably something we need to take out of the game,” said Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond.

Marler also served a two-week ban in 2011 after being sent off against Leicester, and was sidelined for another fortnight in 2016 after verbally abusing Samson Lee.

England coach Eddie Jones will be on the lookout for alternative back-up to Mako Vunipola at loose-head prop ahead of the opening game against Italy on February 4 and with Ellis Genge and Matt Mullan injured, Bath’s uncapped Beno Obano appears to be next in line.

Sale moved into the top half of the Premiership table with a 30-29 win secured with Faf de Klerk’s late penalty.

Northampton back row Teimana Harrison hailed the Alan Gaffney effect after the Saints’ new boss oversaw the end of their seven-match losing streak against Gloucester with a last-gasp try.

“He hasn’t so much tweaked anything to do with the way we are playing, he has more come in and said we need to trust in ourselves. Everybody is here for a reason – we are all good rugby players. We just need to take that on to the field,” said Harrison.

Manu Tuilagi’s try on his 100th Leicester appearance helped the Tigers end their barren run with a stuttering win over bottom-of-the-table London Irish at Welford Road.