Joe Marler to face World Rugby misconduct hearing

The decision comes after comments made towards Wales' Samson Lee during the 6 Nations went unpunished by an independent comminsion

Joe Marler will appear before a World Rugby misconduct hearing for comments made towards Wales' Samson Lee during the RBS 6 Nations match.]

Marler was cited for incident in which he called Lee a "gypsy boy" but escaped punishment.

Verbal abuse of a player based on religion, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or otherwise carries a minimum sanction of a four-week suspension.

World Rugby had called on the commission to clarify their decision not to punish Marler in a statement:

"World Rugby notes the outcome of Six Nations Rugby’s investigation into comments made by England’s Joe Marler towards Wales’ Samson Lee during the RBS 6 Nations match at Twickenham on 12 March, 2016.

"World Rugby Law 10.4(m) and Regulations 17 (Discipline) and 20 (Misconduct / Code of Conduct) deal with verbal abuse of players.

"World Rugby can confirm that, in accordance with its regulations, it has requested further information from Six Nations Rugby (the tournament organiser of the RBS 6 Nations Championship) in respect of the process that led to its decision."

In a statement released today they said: "World Rugby is of the view that the comments amount to misconduct and/or a breach of the code of conduct under World Rugby Regulation 20 and should have been considered by an independent process.

"In the absence of such a process by Six Nations Rugby, World Rugby is exercising its right to take appropriate action before an independent judicial committee.

"The RFU (the player's union) and Six Nations Rugby have been informed and the case will be heard by an independent judicial committee as soon as practically possible. Details will be announced in due course and the player is free to continue playing in the interim."