England lock Danny Grewcock is likely to be left out of the World Cup squad after losing his appeal against a six-week ban for punching.
Grewcock's World Cup hopes would seem to be over
The 34-year-old Bath star punched Clermont Auvergne's Thibault Privat in the European Challenge Cup final.
The ban runs from 4 August to 15 September, ruling Grewcock out of three World Cup warm-up Tests and England's first two World Cup matches.
Grewcock, capped 69 times, was left out of England's 47-man training squad.
Coach Brian Ashton indicated he could not carry a banned player in his final 30-man World Cup squad.
The independent panel, which met in Birmingham on Tuesday, found "there had been no error on the part of the original committee's decision".
Grewcock was ordered to bear the costs of the appeal hearing and European Rugby Cup Limited's legal costs.
Bath issued a brief statement which read: "Bath Rugby would like to thank the ERC for convening an appeal hearing promptly.
"The club is disappointed with the outcome but accepts the decision of the appeal committee."
Grewcock's career has been chequered with disciplinary problems.
He became only the second player to be sent off for England when he was given his marching orders for illegal use of the boot against the All Blacks in 1998, earning a five-week ban.
In 2004, Grewcock was banned for six weeks after being cited for stamping against the All Blacks. The following year he was suspended for two months after being found to have bitten Keven Mealamu in the first Lions Test.
Grewcock has been sin-binned three times in the last three years for England, while he has one of the worst disciplinary records in the Guinness Premiership.
He has been sent off twice playing for Bath. The first red card was quashed on appeal but the second, for punching Lawrence Dallaglio in the 2003 Parker Pen Final, cost him a place on England's summer tour.
Grewcock did earn a place in England's 2003 World Cup squad but missed the triumph in Australia after breaking his hand in the pool win over Uruguay.
England are currently training with the Royal Marines before flying to Portugal for an eight-day training camp on Thursday.
Centre Mike Tindall is absent as he continues his recovery from a broken leg in the gym.