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Revealed: What Marler said that got him banned

UPDATE: A video with the audio of what Harlequins’ England prop Joe Marler said Jake Heenan has been published online.


Marler was given a two-week ban for comments made to a Bristol Bears player while playing for his club

The 32-year-old Marler faced a Rugby Football Union (RFU) hearing on Friday over charges of making comments “prejudicial to the game” during Tuesday’s defeat by Bristol.

Below is a transcription of the exchange between Marler and Bristol back row Jake Heenan.

Jake Heenan: ‘Hey, brother, you’re better than that, hey?’

Joe Marler: ‘I’m not your brother. I’m clearly not your brother am I.’

Heenan: ‘You’re better than that mate’


Marler: ‘There’s no way I’m from the same mother as you. Your mother is a ****ing whore.

[players were audibly taken aback by comments. Heenan says something to the referee Karl Dickson about what Marler which sounds like ‘He said my mum was a whore to my face’]

Marler [again]: ‘Your mother’s a whore’

At this point the scuffle breaks out with some inaudible exchanges.


Referee Karl Dickson: ‘Who stared that?’

Max Lahiff: ‘Marler called his mother a whore’.

Players continue to clash. 

Heenan: ‘My mum’s in hospital with cancer’

* (Article continues below …)

Referee Dickson: ‘Alex just take him back. Take him back. I know there was an allegation of what was said. I actually didn’t hear what was said. If it was really clear on the comms afterwards, it will be dealt with’.

Marler later apologised to Heenan over social media.

The England prop was given a six-week ban by the RFU, four of which were suspended. The loosehead will be available for the Six Nations which gets underway on February 5.

“The player accepted that his conduct was prejudicial to the interests of the game,” RFU panel chair Gareth Graham said.

“The insulting and offensive comments made by the player were wholly inappropriate; such comments should form no part of the modern game.”

The panel also handed down an additional four-week ban suspended until the end of the 2023-24 season, which may be activated should Marler commit a similar offence.

“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],” Graham said.

Marler has a chequered disciplinary history.

In 2016 he called Wales prop Samson Lee ‘gypsy boy’, while in 2020 he was hit with a 10-week ban for grabbing the testicles of another Wales player, Alun Wyn Jones.

additional reporting AAP

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