Ugo Monye fears his former Harlequins team mate Joe Marler has played his final game for England with the prop facing a potentially lengthy ban for grabbing the testicles of Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones during Saturday’s clash at Twickenham.
Marler’s poor disciplinary record leaves him facing a possible long ban for the particular offence or under the broader charge of conduct that is prejudicial to the game. Former England wing Monye knows Marler well and the prop could opt to retire for a second time from test rugby after this latest incident. He previously called time on his international career only to change his mind and win a place in the England World Cup squad in Japan last year.
In 2016, Marler was been banned for two matches and fined £20,000 following a disciplinary hearing into a charge of misconduct that was brought by World Rugby after he called the Wales prop Samson Lee “Gypsy boy”.
After this latest incident, Monye told the BBC Rugby Union Weekly podcast: “ The sad thing for me is that we have had another good weekend of Six Nations rugby and we are talking about some of the incidents in the game rather than actually some of the rugby. Maybe I am part of the problem talking about it, but everyone is talking about it because they want to make sense of it. It’s a shame. For Joe Marler if that is your last game in an England shirt – if that is the last time you ever play at Twickenham – and I think there is every likelihood it could be, that is the sad thing for me.
“It totally split opinion with two extremes. People think he is a cult hero and hashtag “ Joe never change” and applaud it as a bit of fun while the others say he should be hung drawn and quartered.
“There is no middle ground or nuance with these things anymore. You see these things and you either have to be outraged and if you are not then I am outraged that you are not outraged – it is ridiculous and there has to be a middle ground.”
Watch: Eddie Jones to discuss England future with RFU.
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.