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The Six Nations will not punish Joe Marler for 'gypsy boy' slur

The Harlequins man will also not be banned for striking an opponent.

Updated at 22.49

ENGLAND PROP JOE Marler has avoided a suspension for striking Rob Evans in Saturday’s Six Nations victory over Wales at Twickenham, while it has also been confirmed that he will not be punished for his “gypsy boy” slur.

Marler was cited after television footage appeared to show him striking Evans in the head as Dan Cole attempted to go over for a try in the first half.
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However, while Marler admitted to an act of foul play, an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee has ruled his actions did not warrant a red card.

The 25-year-old is therefore free to play in England’s final Six Nations match against France in Paris this weekend, after he was not sanctioned over a separate incident in the Wales game that saw him call counterpart Samson Lee a “gypsy boy”.

Marler said sorry for his comments to Lee, who accepted the apology.

A Six Nations Rugby statement on the matter released this evening added: “Further to a comment made by Joe Marler to Samson Lee during the England v Wales match at Twickenham on Saturday 12th March, Six Nations Rugby have conducted a thorough investigation which has just concluded.

Six Nations Rugby are aware of the seriousness of Mr. Marler’s comment and do not in anyway condone what was said.

“Six Nations Rugby have considered the reports in detail and noted the fact that Mr. Marler deeply regretted what he had said and had immediately and unprompted apologised to Mr. Lee at half time. They also noted that Head Coach of England Eddie Jones had reprimanded Mr. Marler and reminded him of his responsibilities as an International Rugby Player.

“Six Nations Rugby have accepted the explanation provided that the comment was one made in the heat of the moment.

“Having taken all the facts into account no further disciplinary action will be taken.  Six Nations Rugby consider that this matter is now closed.”

Marler himself also released a statement apologising for his remarks: ”I have accepted from the outset that I made the misguided remark to Samson. It was made in the heat of the moment.

“I apologised, unprompted, to Samson Lee at half time and this was accepted. As ever we shook hands and exchanged smiles at the end of the game.

“I have been warned very clearly by Eddie Jones how comments like this are unacceptable. I will certainly conduct myself differently in future.

“I do not condone racism in any form, at any time, deeply regret the incident and intend to reflect the behaviours expected of an England player going forward. Once again I apologise for the upset my inappropriate remark has caused.”

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