England prop Joe Marler will face an independent World Rugby misconduct hearing
Six Nations organisers had ruled that Marler would not face any punishment following his comments
But World Rugby, which governs the international game, says his remarks “amount to misconduct and/or a breach” of its code of conduct.
The case will be heard “as soon as practically possible”.
World Rugby have confirmed England prop Joe Marler will face an independent misconduct hearing for his comments made towards Wales’ Samson Lee.
In a statement, World Rugby said: “[We] are 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.
“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 RFU (the player’s union) and Six Nations Rugby have been informed and the case will be heard by an independent judicial committee as soon as practically possible.
Details will be announced in due course and the player is free to continue playing in the interim.
Campaigners from the Traveller community – and figures inside the sport – had been critical of Marler for making the comment and called for a ban.
Like Lee, Wales head coach Warren Gatland described the incident as “banter” but subsequently apologised following criticism.