World Rugby release their OUTCOME from Joe Marler's independent misconduct hearing - Ruck

World Rugby release their OUTCOME from Joe Marler’s independent misconduct hearing

  • England prop Joe Marler has been banned for two matches and fined £20,000 by World Rugby
  • Marler had avoided punishment by Six Nations organisers, but World Rugby conducted its own investigation
  • The prop will miss Harlequins’ Challenge Cup quarter-final against London Irish on Saturday and next weekend’s Premiership trip to leaders Saracens
The long-running saga reached its climax today with the England prop Joe Marler receiving a two match ban for the comment he aimed at Welshman Samson Lee.

He made the comment in England’s Six Nations win over Wales in March and had an apology accepted by prop Samson. The prop was also fined £20,000.

The Harlequins forward has seven days to appeal against the decision.

World Rugby was of the view that the comments amount to misconduct and/or a breach of the code of conduct under World Rugby Regulation 20 and should have been considered by an independent process.

Marler, whose fine will be donated to an equality charity in the UK, admitted a misconduct charge at a disciplinary hearing in London on Tuesday.

He will miss Harlequins’ Challenge Cup quarter-final against London Irish on Saturday and next weekend’s Premiership trip to leaders Saracens.

In the absence of such a process by Six Nations Rugby, World Rugby is exercising its right to take appropriate action before an independent judicial committee.

The Welsh Rugby Union issued its own statement at the time, saying it was disappointed with the Six Nations’ decision not to punish Marler.

England head coach Eddie Jones reprimanded Marler after the incident, but Scarlets prop Lee, who is from the Traveller community, dismissed it as “banter”.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland also described the comment as “banter”, but he later apologised for his remark.

Campaigners from the Traveller community – and figures inside the sport – had been critical of Marler for making the comment and called for a ban.

WHAT THEY SAIDGettyImages-516162822


I am sure World Rugby will decide what to do, and we will support them.”
Rob Howley, the Wales skills coach

“People make mistakes. The fact that he apologised at half-time is a real testament to Joe’s character.

“There’s a judicial process in place. At the moment Joe is available and he will be available until the judiciary says he’s not.”
England coach Eddie Jones

“I will certainly conduct myself differently in future. I do not condone  racism in any form, at any time, deeply regret the incident and intend to  reflect the behaviours expected of an England player going forward. Once  again I apologise for the upset my inappropriate remark has caused”.
Joe Marler

“Look, we don’t want to make a massive issue out of it. Let’s put it to bed. I was more concerned by the forearm. He has been cited for that and we will see what the outcome is.”
Wales coach Warren Gatland

“I don’t condone racism of any kind. I apologise for any offence my use of the word banter may have caused.

“My intention was to take the focus away from Samson, a private individual, and enable him and the rest of squad to prepare for the final game of the championship. My comments were made following a discussion with Samson about the incident.”
 Gatland apologises the following day

“Clearly, this incident has raised broader issues for the game of rugby which require follow-up and which we are undertaking directly with Six Nations.”

Welsh Rugby Union

“Apologising straight away means that he recognised he had caused offence and tried to make things right. It comes down to the interpretation of what is racial or ethnic abuse. If Lee perceived the statement as such, then Marler is in trouble. But if Lee says he did not feel racially abused, then I believe he should be in the clear.”
Austin Healey writes in his Telegraph Sport column