Joe Marler suspended for two matches and fined £20,000 for "gypsy boy" comment

The fine is set to be paid to a "suitable equality charity" in the UK

Joe Marler suspended for two matches and fined £20,000 for "gypsy boy" comment

Image: David Davies / PA Archive/Press Association Images

England prop Joe Marler has been suspended for 2 matches and fined £20,000 to be paid to a suitable equality charity for "gypsy boy" comment against Samson Lee.

The misconduct charge was brought by World Rugby against Marler in relation to a breach of Regulation 20 and the code of conduct, for comments made towards Lee during their clash with Wales in the 6 Nations.

"Regulation 20 and the code of conduct both cover statements that are unsporting and/or insulting and/or discriminatory by reason of race or ethnic origin, which bring or have the potential to bring the game into disrepute" World Rugby said today in a statement.

The statement provided the following reasoning for the ban:

  1. That Marler had used unsporting and discriminatory language towards Lee
  2. That by his actions, Marler had breached World Rugby Regulation 20 and the code of conduct and brought the game into disrepute
  3. That Marler was proactive in apologising to Lee at half-time during the match and that he subsequently issued a public and unreserved apology for his comments
  4. That Marler is a person of good character and had no similar misconduct charges

It continues: "In respect of the sanction, pursuant to Regulation 20.10.1 (c), the committee determined the breach was serious and imposed a two-match suspension, and pursuant to Regulation 20.10.1 (b) that Marler pay a fine in the form of a donation of £20,000 to a suitable equality charity in the UK."