Joe Marler Banned For 10 Weeks For Grabbing Alun Wyn Jones' Genitals
England prop Joe Marler has been handed a 10-week ban for handling Alun Wyn Jones' genitals during Saturday's Six Nations win over Wales.
The decision was made by an independent citing commissioner at a disciplinary hearing in Dublin.
The shortest ban under World Rugby rules for 'grabbing, twisting or squeezing the genitals' is actually 12 weeks, but three weeks were knocked off due to mitigating factors, including good character and remorse, according to the BBC. An additional week was then added to account for the 29-year-old's recent disciplinary record.
All things considered, it's not a bad result for Marler, given the maximum ban could have been four years.
The incident went unnoticed by officials during the game, however, it was picked up by cameras and seen by everyone watching from home.
Speaking after the game, Wales captain Jones said he hoped World Rugby would look at the incident.
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He said: "I've got 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. It's difficult as a captain these days because you can't speak to a ref about anything, it feels."
But Marler's England and Harlequins teammate, Danny Care, defended his actions, describing it as just a 'bit of banter'.
Speaking on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast, he said: "If you know Joe and you've played with him or spent a lot of time with him, you know he hasn't done it in a malicious way. You know he hasn't gone out there to annoy anyone or anger anyone or disrespect anyone. He's done it in Joe's way of being Joe.
"Alun Wyn Jones is a team-mate of his from the Lions - I'm pretty sure they're mates. The scuffle has broken out, Joe's tried to make light of it and do what he's done on Alun Wyn Jones.
"When I saw it, I just thought it was two lads messing around who were good mates but I can completely understand the massively split reaction. Out of the context of sport and as a bit of banter it obviously isn't funny. You put that in any other place of work and there's going to be some serious repercussions from it.
"I think anyone involved in rugby, things like that are seen as a joke. It's seen as a bit of banter. I don't see an awful lot wrong with it."
Featured Image Credit: PA