'Disgusting': Openly-gay pundit's 'appalling' joke divides fans

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

England forward Joe Marler will be looking at an extended spell on the sidelines after grabbing Wales Captain Alwyn Jones in the crotch during their Six Nations clash, but it was the joke of pundit Gareth Thomas that has divided fans.

Marler was caught on camera grabbing Alun Wyn Jones in the crotch region during England’s 33-30 Six Nations win over Wales on Saturday.

STRICT CONDITIONS: Former teammates' stunning 'gag' claims in Israel Folau saga

'SHOULDN’T BE A LIFE SENTENCE': Catalans coach doubles down on Folau

Jones was bewildered as he tried to get the referee’s attention to the prop’s underhanded tactics.

But the incident was discussed on the ITV panel following the game and Welsh pundit Gareth Thomas - who came out publicly in 2009 - made a joke about the crotch grab at his own expense.

“It would've never have happened in my day and I'm really upset about that - because if it had I would have never retired,” he said.

The joke had the pundits in stitches and also many on social media who labelled the joke as “epic”.

Joe Marler (pictured left) was captured on camera grabbing at Alun Wyn Jones in the crotch area and pundit Gareth Thomas (pictured far right) made a joke on ITV that divided fans. (Images: ITV)

But many were outraged claiming Thomas was making light of a horrible incident, which wouldn’t be condoned in the workplace.

Former England five-eighth Andy Goode led the condemnation.

Eddie Jones fumes over England red

The match between the great rivals was simmering throughout and Eddie Jones didn’t hide his frustration at the referee following the match after England looked to be cruising to victory but were reduced to 13 men after a yellow card for prop Ellis Genge after a succession of penalties and the red for Tuilagi with about five minutes remaining.

Tuilagi as he crashed his shoulder into the head of George North while making a try-saving tackle.

New Zealand referee Ben O'Keefe referee had a long discussion with South African television match official Marius Jonker before ruling that although North was low to the ground, there were "no mitigating circumstances" that prevented him sending off the powerful centre.

That led to Wales scoring two tries and 14 unanswered points in the final minutes of the game.

Jones said things were made particularly difficult as it "ended up as "13 against 16".

Asked to elaborate, he told journalists: "You work it out.

"I find it bizarre, I usually don't comment, but I don't see how you can tackle a guy," Jones said.

"How else are you supposed to tackle him?

"This bit about where your arms are - what a load of rubbish.

"I think there's no common sense applied in that situation. It's absolute rubbish.

"Clearly the guy's falling, there's a good chop tackle, Manu's coming over the top to kill the tackle and doing everything he's supposed to be doing - come on!

"When you have a three-man advantage it's going to do some damage, so I thought we were exceptional. It was a good, tough win."

With AAP