England’s Joe Marler goes unpunished for ‘gypsy boy’ comment

Joe Marler. Picture: PA
Joe Marler. Picture: PA
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Joe Marler is clear to face France on Saturday as England go in search of the Grand Slam after avoiding punishment for his verbal abuse of Samson Lee and for striking Rob Evans in the Twickenham clash with Wales.

A swift apology and continuing contrition from Marler for calling Lee “gypsy boy” during England’s 25-21 win last weekend bought the England prop favour from Six Nations disciplinary officials. Earlier, Marler learned he would not face a ban for the incident involving Evans, as a disciplinary hearing found that it was not a red-card offence.

Regarding Marler’s comment to Lee, the Six Nations said in a statement: “Six Nations Rugby are aware of the seriousness of Mr Marler’s comment and do not in any way condone what was said.

“Six Nations Rugby have considered the reports in detail and noted the fact that Mr Marler deeply regretted what he had said and had immediately and unprompted apologised to Mr Lee at half-time. They also noted that head coach of England Eddie Jones had reprimanded Mr Marler and reminded him of his responsibilities as an international rugby player.”

Wales coach Warren Gatland has apologised for any offence his use of the word “banter” may have caused when reflecting on the Lee incident.