England and Harlequins prop Joe Marler has finally broken his silence on the Alun Wyn Jones incident – and his response is as hilarious as you’d expect.
“We spoke when the huge storm was going off, then,” revealed Marler, who was speaking on the Virtual Rugby Show in support of Lawrence Dallaglio’s RugbyWorks foundation.
“I understood his position as a 140-odd capped international with some heavy gravitas in the game, the position he holds and the pressure he can sometimes be put under.
“What I did was inappropriate and wrong on that stage. The people that came out and compared it to sexual assault in the workplace completely blew my mind but I did stop for a second and take on their opinions and how they were made to feel about it all.
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“They are completely entitled to their opinion and I respect that. However, I didn’t sexually assault someone in the workplace. I tickled someone’s k**b, as a laugh, who I’d known for several years now, on the wrong stage, really.
“I should have probably waited for there not to be cameras around but it was a bit of a brain fart.”
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7 things you didn’t know about Joe Marler
1. Starting out
Marler started his career at Haywards Heath RFC in Sussex where he played in the same side as fellow England international Billy Twelvetrees.
2. Not a one-club man?
After joining the Quins academy in 2008, the prop spent some time on loan to Esher and Worthing