Bad boy Marler learns his fate after crude comments
DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: England prop Joe Marler has been handed a six-week ban following comments made towards flank Jake Heenan during the Premiership match between Harlequins and Bristol Bears.
The Rugby Football Union revealed that four weeks of the ban have been suspended, in other words, he will serve two weeks immediately.
However, the suspension may be activated should the player commit a similar offence in the meantime.
The hearing was chaired by Gareth Graham sitting with Becky Essex and Leon Lloyd.
Marler was charged under the governing body’s rule 5.12 – conduct prejudicial to the game.
During the hearing, he accepted the charge.
Marler reportedly made comments during the first half of Tuesday’s Premiership match, related to Heenan’s mother.
According to RugbyPass, Marler is alleged to have called Heenan’s hospital-bound mother a “sex worker”.
After the match, Marler took to Twitter to apologise for his action, which serve as mitigation to the disciplinary panel.
The panel chair, Gareth Graham said: “The player accepted that his conduct was prejudicial to the interests of the game.
“As has been said by previous rugby disciplinary panels, rugby’s core values are not empty words or slogans which can be signed up to and then ignored. They are not to be treated as useful bolt-ons dreamt up by a marketing team. They are integral to the game and are what make the game special.
“The insulting and offensive comments made by the player were wholly inappropriate; such comments should form no part of the modern game.
“This offence was charged as a breach of RFU Rule 5.12 and, as such, the panel was not bound by the sanctions table. The panel had regard to the entry points for breaches of Law 9.12 (acts of verbal abuse) and of Law 9.27 (acts contrary to good sportsmanship).
“The panel also had regard to the player’s poor disciplinary record (as an aggravating feature), and to the fact, he had accepted the charge and had apologised to the Bristol player (as mitigating factors).”
The 32-year-old Marler has been no stranger to disciplinary action during his career.
In 2016, he received a two-week suspension and was fined £20,000 for calling Wales prop Samson Lee “gypsy boy”, and two years ago Marler was given a 10-week ban for grabbing Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones’ genitals during a Six Nations international.