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What Joe Marler said that triggered Jake Heenan

By Ian Cameron
Joe Marler has apologised for the remarks.

Harlequins prop Joe Marler has publicly apologised to Bristol flanker Jake Heenan for the comments that triggered a fracas during the two sides’ Gallagher Premiership game at the Stoop yesterday.


The Bears claimed a 15-12 victory that lifts them off the foot of the Gallagher Premiership.

However, an incident involving the England prop was the talk of social media after the game.

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A remark by Marler incensed New Zealand-born back row Heenan which resulted in him grabbing the loosehead as a scrum was being set.

Andy Goode wrote: “Anyone know what Joe Marler said to infuriate Jake Heenan and Yann Thomas? Marler looked a bit sheepish after it kicked off…”, to which Bristol player Steven Luatua replied: “I only found out on the way home. You & I would’ve done the same. That was absolute bullsh%t from Marler.”


Luatua later publicly asked Marler to apologise to Heenan and Marler duly obliged, writing on Twitter: “Yep. You’re right. I’m sorry @HeenanJake – piss poor from me. Owe you a pint/coffee in the new year.”

RugbyPass understands that Marler twice made disparaging remarks about the mother of one of the Bristol players – namely that she was a sex worker.

Marler will find out today if he is to face a disciplinary committee over the incident.


“I brought Jake over from New Zealand to Connacht and to Bristol. He’s like a son to our family and I have never seen him like that,” Bears director of rugby Pat Lam said.

“It’s best to say one of the areas we are all trying to work on is the spirit of the game. I love Joe Marler but something was said and there was a reaction from Jake I have never seen before.

“We are all custodians of the game – players, coaches – and one thing we all value and we all work hard to keep is the right values and spirit. Jake reacted to something that was said. That’s all I know what happened.”


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