Former Ireland head coach Eddie O’Sullivan believes Joe Marler needs to “cop himself on” in the aftermath of the England prop’s controversial incident with Alun Wyn Jones at the weekend.
Marler grabbed the groin area of Jones during his side’s 33-30 win over Wales at Twickenham. The incident was picked up by the television cameras and it was immediately shared on social media.
Marler has been cited for the incident and he will face a disciplinary hearing on Thursday in Dublin for the alleged infringement of Law 9.27: A Player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship – Hair pulling or grabbing; Spitting at anyone; Grabbing, twisting or squeezing the genitals (and/or breasts in the case of female players.)
Based on the evidence, it looks likely that Marler will receive a ban and the incident was a topic of discussion on RTÉ’s Against The Head programme where former Ireland international and British and Irish Lion, Donal Lenihan, stated that the prop likes to “be the village idiot.”
“I saw it live and immediately I was like, ‘what are you doing?'” Lenihan said.
“Marler likes to be the village idiot at times. He has past history. He was looking for a reaction and I think that’s what Alun Wyn Jones was more cognisant of. Jones is a player that I admire hugely. We forget at times that this is the workplace for these players. If this happened at any other level of work, it’s a firing offence.”
O’Sullivan also spoke out against Marler’s actions:
“It beggars belief that Marler would think this is funny, because that’s what it comes across as,” O’Sullivan said.
“But that’s not the issue at all. The issue is, young people watching the game and the image it projects. I’ve no sympathy for him at all. As Donal says, he does act the village idiot. Maybe he is an idiot at the back of it. He needs to cop himself on a bit.”
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) March 9, 2020