England prop Joe Marler has received a 10-week ban for grabbing Alun Wyn Jones’ genitals during their 33-30 win over England last Saturday.
Marler was in Dublin on Thursday for a disciplinary hearing and to learn his fate.
A statement on the decision said:
“The England prop forward, Joe Marler, appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee in Dublin today.
“Mr Marler had been the subject of a citing complaint by the independent citing commissioner, Peter Ferguson, following the match in the Guinness Six Nations Championship against Wales on 7 March 2020 in Twickenham.
“The citing complaint alleged that Mr Marler had infringed on Law 9.27 (acts against the spirit of good sportsmanship) when, in the first half of the match, he grabbed, twisted or squeezed the genitals of a Welsh player,” the statement read.
The Marler decision: 'He accepted that he had committed an act of foul play, albeit that he did not accept that he had grabbed, twisted or squeezed the genitals of the Welsh player and he did not accept that it warranted a red card' pic.twitter.com/BAcGUMjqVZ
— Rúaidhrí O'Connor (@RuaidhriOC) March 12, 2020
Despite admitting to the incident, Marler remained defiant that it was not deserving of a red card.
“Mr Marler accepted that he had committed an act of foul play, albeit that he did not accept that he had grabbed, twisted or squeezed the genitals of the Welsh player and he did not accept that it warranted a red card.
“The Disciplinary Committee heard evidence and submissions from Mr Marler and his legal counsel, Richard Smith QC respectively (as well as from Six Nations’ legal representative).
The statement also included the decision-making process the disciplinary committee employed to come to the conclusion Marler was deserving of a 10-week ban.
“The Disciplinary Committee found that the act of foul play warranted a low-end entry point (12 weeks’ suspension) and reduced that by three weeks to take account of mitigating factors (including good character and remorse) but increased it by one week to take account of his most recent disciplinary record.
“Mr Marler is therefore suspended for 10 weeks and, given his playing schedule, is free to resume playing on Monday, 8 June 2020. He was reminded of his right of appeal,” the statement concluded.