By LIAM RICHNER
England’s Joe Marler faces a disciplinary meeting later this week after the 25-year old forward struck Wales’ Rob Evans during the Red Rose’s 25-21 win last Saturday.
Marler has also apologised to Samson Lee after he branded the Wales prop a “Gypsy boy”.
It is understood that England head coach Eddie Jones will still consider the forward for selection this weekend, as England travel to the Stade de France in an attempt to complete the Grand Slam for the first time since 2003.
However the Australian did admit that Marler made a mistake.
He told BBC Sport: “It’s not within the spirit of the game. Joe knows this and has apologised for his actions.
“We all make mistakes and he made one last weekend.”
The mood isn’t so forgiving in the Wales camp, with assistant coach Rob Howley exclaiming there is no room for that sort of behaviour in the sport.
Marler has left a sour taste in many former internationals and the gypsy community for what he said, and it’s hard to back the 25-year old up in any way.
You may say, with the match being contested between two bitter rivals, and with so much at stake, that the forward’s actions were just in the heat of the moment.
Then again, it wasn’t just ‘banter’ between both camps, there was both physical and verbal assault on two Wales players which is unforgiving, no matter what context.
What should be the bare minimal Marler gets charged? You would think a sufficient fine and a two-game ban would be more than adequate.
An offence where a player is hit with a motive to harm is usually met with a two-week ban by the RFA, whereas the verbal matter could see up to a four-week suspension.
Therefore, Marler could be hit with up to a six week ban.
This should also be a sign to other players that if they were to do anything similar in future, then they know what sort of punishment they should expect.