Worcester captain Pat Sanderson faces a ban of at least 12 weeks, having last night been cited for an incident in his team's dramatic draw with Wasps last Saturday.

The former England flanker has been charged with illegally making contact with the eyes and eye areas of an opponent, in contravention to law 10.4(k), following a report from the independent citing officer Alan Mansell.

Wasps' No 8 James Haskell has also been hit with the same charge and both players must now appear at a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing in London next Tuesday.

That leaves Sanderson free to play in this weekend's Premiership derby with Gloucester but if he is found to have done anything unto-ward he may not be available again until Warriors' Premiership match with London Wasps on December 23.

That is if the offence is deemed to be worthy of a lower-end sanction; the maximum penalty is a two-year ban. That has to be considered unlikely, however.

The 30-year-old denies the suggestion that he has done anything wrong and he is being supported by the club's director of rugby, Mike Ruddock.

"I have had a quick chat with Pat and, as far as he is concerned, there is no case to answer," Ruddock said. "We respect the process, we will have a look at it but our initial thoughts are the player is surprised to be cited."

In Sanderson's favour is the fact that he has an excellent disciplinary record and has picked up only six yellow cards, most of them for technical offences, in his professional career.

Nevertheless, the loss of their skipper and first-choice No 7 would hit Worcester hard. While Kai Horstmann, Matt Powell or Tony Windo could lead the side, Ruddock has only the inexperienced James Collins on whom to call as an out-and-out openside.

Until he sees the video footage, the Welshman was unwilling to give much of a reaction but it is clear he intends to defend Sanderson.

Ruddock went on the offensive, however, in response to suggestions his side had tried to con referee Rob Debney into awarding a penalty try during last weekend's 24-24 draw.

Wasps' director of rugby Ian McGeechan revealed afterwards that his forwards were upset at the hosts' tactics when a sequence of scrums were dropped close to the Londoners' line.

The former Scotland coach spoke of his irritation and expressed his disappointment with Ruddock's men as they were looking to reduce a 14-point deficit.

But Ruddock was having none of it. "We trundled their pack back five or ten yards on more than one occasion and, on the basis of that, I felt we were the dominant scrum and should have been rewarded," he said.

"I don't think we wanted to take that scrum down, because we were very confident we could push them backwards to get the penalty try - we didn't need to take it down. Obviously Ian has a view, I have a view and we have got to agree to disagree.

"We are comfortable that we did everything right. I spoke to the referee after the game and impressed upon him that I thought we were worthy of a penalty try well before.

"In rugby in general, there is a situation where the dominant scrum is not being rewarded. I think it could arise that scrummaging could disappear and, suddenly, we have a game of rugby league."

One positive piece of news from Sixways is that Drew Hickey is back in contention for selection. The Australian has not featured yet this season because he has been recovering from an elbow injury.