Joe Marler to face misconduct hearing over ‘gypsy boy’ jibe

England's Joe Marler clashes with Wales' Samson Lee at Twickenham. Picture: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
England's Joe Marler clashes with Wales' Samson Lee at Twickenham. Picture: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
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World Rugby has announced England prop Joe Marler will face an independent misconduct hearing for verbally abusing Wales’ Samson Lee.

Marler had escaped punishment from the Six Nations for calling the Wales prop “gypsy boy” during England’s 25-21 victory at Twickenham on 12 March but World Rugby has deemed action should have been taken.

A statement from the governing body read: “World Rugby has confirmed that England’s Joe Marler will face an independent World Rugby misconduct hearing for comments made towards Wales’ Samson Lee during the RBS Six Nations match at Twickenham on 12 March.

“World Rugby is 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 player is free to continue playing in the interim.”

Marler apologised to Lee for the insult at half-time.