England prop Joe Marler will not miss any matches despite receiving a 10-week ban for squeezing Alun Wyn Jones’ genitals in his side’s Six Nations clash with Wales at Twickenham on March 7.
The now infamous incident occurred just 10 minutes into the clash which was condemned widely on social media at the time.
This led to a disciplinary hearing where Marler received a 10-week ban for the incident which should have resulted in a red card according to the committee.
However, The Times are reporting today that a ‘secret’ Six Nations disciplinary meeting took place after David Hurley, who was the chairman of the disciplinary panel in Marler’s case, wrote to the Six Nations seeking a review of the sanctions in light of the current Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent suspension of the 2019/20 season.
The disciplinary review ruled in favour of leaving the sanction as it is i.e. not extending it or having it apply to when the season resumes, as the disciplinary panel came to the conclusion that they were not entitled to extend the ban under current Six Nations rules.
Ultimately, this means that Marler will serve his suspension without missing a game of rugby as the Gallagher Premiership is set to return on June 27 at the very earliest.
The same situation also applies to Manu Tuilagi and France’s Mohamed Haouas. Tuilagi was sent off for a dangerous tackle on George North in the same game while Haouas was sent off for punching Jamie Ritchie in France’s clash with Scotland at Murrayfield.