Speaking on The Breakdown programme on Sky Sport NZ, John Kirwan and Jeff Wilson sparked a debate about the seriousness of the incident while Kane Hames, who played for the All Blacks as recently as 2017, suggested Jones really needs to stick up for Marler at the disciplinary hearing.
“He needs to grab his own balls, pick them up and stick up for his mate here,” said Hames. “Because it’s his mate that he is talking about and there is a special relationship there, I definitely think there is. Alun can stop his mate from getting banned.”
Kirwan, the 1987 World Cup winner, agreed what Marler did was merely dressing room banter between pals. “When I first saw it I thought they have obviously roomed together with the Lions or something because they are mates,” he said. “It’s something that I would do to a really good mate of mine. No intent, like a tap on the arse or whatever.
“There’s no offence me. You tell me when you haven’t seen that in the changing room? I don’t think there was any offence intended. And if we say OK he gets four weeks to twelve weeks for the law… I just thought he was taking the mickey and I didn’t see any offence.”
Kirwan’s opinion, though, was at odds with what Wilson had to say. “In any other workplace, I’m sorry but what would happen? Keep your hands to yourself. It’s a game of footy, a game of rugby.”
WATCH: The Rugby Pod discusses the Joe Marler-Alun Wyn Jones incidentMore News
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now