WORCESTER Warriors' Chris Ashton will today appear before an online independent disciplinary panel after his red card on Saturday against Northampton Saints.

Ashton was shown a red card by referee Andrew Jackson in the 49th minute of the match against Saints for an illegal entry at a breakdown, in which he led with a shoulder and made contact with the head of Saints' Tommy Freeman.

The incident refers to World Rugby Law 9.20: Dangerous play in a ruck or maul - "A player must not charge into a ruck or maul. Charging includes any contact made without binding onto another player in the ruck or maul.

Given that any act of foul play that results in contact with the head, as Ashton's did, will face at least a mid-range sanction (six weeks) but he could see that reduced to three-four if he ticks the relevant boxes.

The Worcester winger scored his first try before his sending off at the weekend but will now spend a sustained period on the sidelines.

Ashton, Tom Dunn and Will Muir of Bath Rugby, who also received red cards in their game with London Irish last Saturday, will face their hearing later today.

The independent disciplinary panel for all three hearings will comprise Sean Enright with Gareth Graham and Mitch Read.