Letter of rugby laws would see Marler hit with a minimum 12-week ban

Alun Wyn Jones bemoaned the lack of action on the incident from officials.

Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

JOE MARLER QUICKLY went viral during the first-half of England’s Six Nations win over Wales, earning acclaim from some, derision from most.

However, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones was left immensely frustrated as officials took no action when the England prop purposefully grabbed the second row’s genitals.

The England prop will likely face a date with the disciplinary panel next week as World Rugby’s lawbook already has measures in place to ward against such incidents. 

In the foul play section, a provision of Law 9.27  (which covers sportsmanship) includes the line: (A player must not) ‘grab, twist or squeeze the genitals’.

The low-end sanction for such an offence is 12 weeks, mid-range is 18 weeks and the top end entry point is 24 weeks.

That is the same punishment scale as intentional contact with the eye.

“There’s all the footage that’s been shown obviously,” Jones said post-match.

A lot of supporters saw what happened. It’s just very frustrating the fact we talk a lot about TMOs and footage review, there doesn’t seem a lot of that happening.” 

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When the issue was initially put to him, the Wales captain said:

 “What would you do in that situation? 138 Tests for my country. If I react, I get a red card. It’s tough, isn’t it? Hopefully, World Rugby have a look at it. Joe’s a good bloke. Lots of things happen on a rugby field. My question is, it’s difficult as a captain these days because you can’t speak to a ref about anything it feels.”

Manu Tuilagi will certainly face a disciplinary panel this week after his late red card, but the guideline sanctions for dangerous tackles like the one he connected with George North’s head on are lower with a two-week entry point at the low end, six weeks in the mid-range and a top end entry point of 10 weeks.

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Sean Farrell

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