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England and Harlequins prop Joe Marler has been given a two match ban and fined £20,000 by a World Rugby misconduct hearing on Tuesday for calling Wales prop Samson Lee a “gypsy boy”.
World Rugby brought a charge of misconduct against Marler in relation to a breach of Regulation 20 and the code of conduct, for comments made towards Samson Lee during the England versus Wales RBS 6 Nations match at Twickenham on 12 March.
Marler admitted to the charge and apologised to Lee during the match and in the hearing he admitted to the charge. Marler was also reprimanded by England coach Eddie Jones following the match.
In a statement World Rugby said, “Marler has been suspended for two matches and fined £20,000 ($28,315, 24,876 euros) to be paid to a suitable equality charity in the UK after an independent judicial committee upheld a misconduct charge against the player at a hearing in London”
The statement added that the 42 cap Marler would be free to resume playing on April 18.
He will now miss Harlequins’ European Challenge Cup quarter-final against the London Irish on Saturday and their English Premiership fixture against league leaders Saracens in a London derby at Wembley the following week.
England’s governing Rugby Football Union said that they would not be appealing the verdict.
“The decision will not be appealed, and we now consider the matter closed,” said an RFU spokesman.
Marler said on Monday he would accept whatever punishment was imposed by the three-man panel of Australia’s Terry Willis (chairman), France’s Jean-Noël Couraud and Canada’s Alan Hudson.
“I’m not a racist,” Marler tweeted on Monday before the heading.
“What I said to Samson was out of order and wrong and I am sorry it was said, we shook hands at the end of the game and looked to move on.
“Whatever happens to me tomorrow I will accept.”
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