England rugby have banned Sale Sharks prop Jake Pope for six months following a second violation of their Illicit Drugs Programme.

The RFU said Pope was the first player to have breached the policy for a second time after a drug test in November returned an adverse analytical finding for cannabis and cocaine.

He admitted the violation at an independent disciplinary panel hearing in February, and the ban has been backdated to the day of his provisional suspension on Dec. 4, paving the way for a return in June.

Pope previously admitted a first violation following a test in 2017 and was fined $2000 although the RFU did not make their finding public as it was a first-time offence.

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