Rugby fans are calling on officials to slap England’s Joe Marler with a big ban after a “disgusting” incident against Wales in the Six Nations.
The England prop has been cited for his bizarre grabbing of Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones' groin in England's 33-30 win over Wales.
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The Harlequins prop could now face a suspension as long as 24 weeks after Six Nations bosses convened a disciplinary hearing in Dublin on Thursday.
Six Nations disciplinary chiefs confirmed Marler would face a hearing, charged with infringing laws on sportsmanship, with the Quins front-rower called into question over allegedly "twisting or squeezing genitals".
Marler's cryptic tweet of "Bollocks. Complete bollocks," while not directly attributed to anything, could easily be viewed negatively by the authorities.
Jones was frustrated that no action was taken against Marler at the time of the incident.
"There's a lot of footage that has been shown, it seems like a lot of supporters saw what happened," said Jones.
"It's very frustrating that we talk a lot about TMOs (television match officials) and footage reviews, yet there doesn't seem to be a lot of it happening."
Some fans have tried to pass off the incident as a bit of a joke, arguing that Marler's act was part and parcel of the typical argy bargy associated with the sport.
However, many other viewers were left disgusted by the incident and have called on rugby officials to throw the book at the prop for "unsportsmanlike" conduct.
England prop Joe Marler caught on camera grabbing Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones' GENITALS during on-field melee in Six Nations clash at Twickenham..— D.N.S. (@DubaiNameShame) March 8, 2020
Hang on thats just not cricket! pic.twitter.com/dNfvQa2GxF
Ok so I’m still getting over the fact that I watched an England player, Marler, grab Alun Wyn by the crotch. Worst thing is it’s getting passed off as banter and shithousery in the # for the game.— Kemp (@KEMP_88) March 7, 2020
No, my friends, it’s not. That is completely and utterly unacceptable behaviour.
I totally agree with you. It’s absolutely not ok to do that.— June James 🏴🇪🇺🏳️🌈 (@JuneArcadia) March 7, 2020
I’m so grateful someone has said this. I was really bothered by that clip. It’s not just where he grabbed him. It’s the bullying.— john derek rees (@jderekrees) March 7, 2020
To those who say it’s only a problem if AWJ didn’t like it. Have you heard of the concept of role models?
Absolutely. Not going to retweet the video because I actually think it’s quite triggering. Disgusting at any level of sport but from an international. Ban him.— Kemp (@KEMP_88) March 7, 2020
It's disgraceful. We try to teach our kids to stay safe and respect each other and you've assholes like marler thinking it's acceptable, and even worse, people supporting his behaviour!— Gee 🏴 🇪🇺 #RebelAlliance (@GeeCee24_7) March 7, 2020
I love rugby, but I cant believe that would've been accepted in any other game 🙁— Katie Bataille (@katiebataille) March 7, 2020
Disgusting behaviour from Marler. World rugby need to come down heavy here. AWJ clearly unhappy about it in post match press briefing.— Brian Smyth (@briansmyth98) March 7, 2020
It’s a sexual assault— twm (@twmsionapheber) March 7, 2020
England trio set to learn fates at hearing
Marler's England colleague Courtney Lawes will also face a disciplinary hearing on Thursday, having been cited for a dangerous tackle on Jones during Saturday's three-point win at Twickenham.
Manu Tuilagi's automatic hearing following a red card will also be held at the same time, with the centre also set to discover if he will be suspended.
England boss Eddie Jones lamented a clutch of refereeing calls in the aftermath of his side's slender victory over the Welsh, but Tuilagi's red card yields an automatic hearing.
The disciplinary panel are likely to take a dim view of head coach Jones' criticism of match referee Ben O'Keefe, with the outspoken Australian claiming "at the end we were 13 against 16 and that's hard," and branding Tuilagi's red card "absolute rubbish".