Harlequins issue statement on length of Marler 'season-ending' ban
Harlequins have outlined their disappointment with the ten-week ban that has effectively ended Joe Marler’s domestic season with the club.
The London club’s loosehead was banned by a Six Nations independent disciplinary committee on Thursday until Monday, June 8, two days after Quins play their final match of the regulation Gallagher Premiership season away at Leicester on June 6.
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Unless Marler appeals and successfully gets his suspension reduced or seventh-place Quins manage to finish in the top four and qualify for the league semi-finals, he will not appear again this season for Paul Gustard’s side.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Premiership club said: “Harlequins notes the disciplinary decision regarding Joe Marler.
“Whilst not in any way condoning Joe’s actions last Saturday we are disappointed at the level of sanction applied, particularly when compared to other disciplinary decisions announced this week.
“The club will be making no further comment on the situation and is fully focused on this weekend’s Premiership Rugby Cup final against Sale Sharks.”
Marler was found guilty of foul play under law 9.27 (acts against the spirit of good sportsmanship) when he touched the genitals of Wales’ Alun Wyn Jones in the first half of last Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations match at Twickenham.
The England prop was not penalised during the game for the incident and Harlequins’ frustration is that their player’s subsequent ten-week suspension appeared very heavy compared to the four-week ban issued to England’s Manu Tuilagi for his bad tackle red card versus Wales and the three-week ban handed out to red-carded France prop Mohamed Haouas for punching.
Marler had accepted at the hearing that he had committed an act of foul play, albeit that he did not accept that he had grabbed, twisted or squeezed the genitals of the Welsh player and he did not accept that it warranted a red card.
However, the disciplinary committee, which comprised David Hurley (Ireland), Sarah Smith (Scotland) and Stefan Terblanche (South Africa), concluded otherwise.
WATCH: The Rugby Pod reflects on all the week’s rugby, including the Joe Marler incident
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