England fullback Mike Brown didn’t hold back while launching a staunch defence of Joe Marler in a column for Mail Online.
“It was a silly mistake I’m not condoning, but all it warranted was a slap on the wrist. Instead, he has been the victim of a witch-hunt and an equally ridiculous outcome,” writes Brown.
“He’s been sanctioned for twisting or grabbing — which is an aggressive act — but it’s clear Marler was never trying to rip off the Welsh guy’s privates. It was never a forceful motion.
“What concerns me is that rugby seems to be guilty of double standards, with the sport treating certain people in certain ways. If the roles were reversed between Marler and Jones, would there be all this hysteria?
“I’m not sure. Jones hounded Kyle Sinckler for the whole game last year with verbals and cheapshots, but he was dubbed a genius. If I did that, the Welsh fans would be calling me every name under the sun.”
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He went on: “As soon as Jones made an issue out of the Marler incident in his press conference, it was inevitable the story would turn into a circus. As soon as an incident starts generating headlines, World Rugby have to be seen to be doing something about it.
“By all accounts, Jones is an intelligent guy with a law degree. He must have known that by criticising the officials for not picking up on the incident it would turn up the heat on Marler.
“They have been on Lions tours together so I was surprised by that. There’s an unwritten rule that you don’t turn on another player unless they’ve done something beyond the pale. Maybe I’m just too old-school?”
LIST | 5 great times Mike Brown didn’t give a f**k
Here we list 5 of his very best moments on and off the pitch.
1. It’s hard to express how funny this interview is…
Brown gives the most palpably awkward interview in a long time. On one hand, it’s admirable that he doesn’t make excuses for the loss, but it does nothing to change people’s opinion of him.