Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby

Joe Marler awaits his fate in investigation into verbal abuse of Samson Lee

Published 14/03/2016

England prop Joe Marler has been cited for striking
England prop Joe Marler has been cited for striking

Joe Marler will discover on Tuesday if he is to be punished for verbally abusing Wales' Samson Lee, but the England prop is already destined to miss the final attempt on the Grand Slam.

Marler will face a disciplinary hearing this week after being cited for striking Lee's team-mate Rob Evans in the first half of the 25-21 RBS 6 Nations victory at Twickenham on Saturday, with the offence carrying an entry point sanction of a two-week ban.

The incident of verbal abuse, in which Marler called Lee "gypsy boy", is still under investigation and it is understood that the outcome will be announced on Tuesday.

Verbal abuse of a player based on religion, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or otherwise carries a minimum punishment of a four-week suspension.

England publicly insist they are preparing for Saturday's climatic trip to the Stade de France as though their first-choice loosehead is available, but in private they must be resigned to seeing him ruled out.

Mako Vunipola is poised to start in Marler's place for the newly crowned Six Nations champions should the likely scenario unfold, with Matt Mullan offering cover on the bench.

Head coach Eddie Jones condemned the abuse but highlighted the 25-year-old Harlequin's apology to Lee at half-time as evidence of his remorse.

"It's not in the spirit of the game. Joe understands that and that's why he apologised straight away. People make mistakes, we all make mistakes," Jones said.

"The fact that he apologised at half-time is a real testament to Joe's character.

"You don't apologise at half-time in a game of rugby unless you mean it. He's been apologetic about it and wants to get on with it.

"There's a judicial process in place so we'll let that run its course. At the moment Joe is available and he will be available until the judiciary says he's not."

In an eventful first half, Marler also appeared to land a forearm in the face of Evans while trying to help team-mate Dan Cole ground the ball over the Welsh try-line.

A Six Nations statement read: "Joe Marler has been cited by the independent citing commissioner for allegedly striking an opponent in the 15th minute of the first half of the RBS 6 Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham.

"Law 10.4 (a) applies - Punching or Striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).

"The citing commissioner continued his review of the match overnight and considered that the incident in the 15th minute involving Mr Marler should also be the subject of a citing (the relevant disciplinary rules provide that the deadline for citing complaints is ordinarily 48 hours after the end of the match in question).

"A disciplinary hearing for the player will be held later this week, before an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee of three."

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph