Joe Marler slammed for not acting "like a real man" after ban over mum joke

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Joe Marler was hit with an initial two-week ban for his insulting comments (Image: Getty Images)
Joe Marler was hit with an initial two-week ban for his insulting comments (Image: Getty Images)

"Mouthy" Joe Marler was accused of "cheap trash talk" for his insulting comments towards an opponent's mother.

Harlequins prop Marler was hit with a six-week ban - four of which have been suspended - for comments made towards Bristol forward Jake Heenan at the Twickenham Stoop.

Marler's comments made during a first-half scrum in the Quins' defeat caused a mini brawl to erupt between players, with Bears flanker Heenan clearly incensed by Marler's behaviour.

The 32-year-old accepted a charge by the RFU under the governing body's rule 5.12 of conduct prejudicial to the game following his slur towards Heenan's mother - who is reportedly in hospital.

And Marler, capped 79 times by England, was perhaps fortunate to receive just an initial two-week suspension after his latest brush with rugby authorities.

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The rugby community have been weighing on his inflammatory remarks on social media, and former Wales international Andrew Coombs was quick to condemn the provocative player.

"P**s poor from Marler!" Coombs tweeted. "I experienced this in Connaught when a player said ‘I f****d your mother last night’. Sadly she had passed a few years before that game. I’m all for men trying to intimidate each other through words, but this is cheap trash talk."

Joe Marler slammed for not acting "like a real man" after ban over mum jokeMarler's comments sparked a fracas at The Stoop (Getty Images)

When one responder claimed he showing naivety, retired lock Coombs added: "Tell the guy you’re going to f**k him up or smash him fine. Bringing loved ones into it is cheap bulls***. Mouthy Marler at it again."

Another fan suggested Marler had been provoked by repeatedly being called 'bro', but Coombs insisted the experienced player should have acted in a more mature manner. "Marler could just act like a real man and respond, call me brother again and I’ll break you in half," the pundit replied. "That’s my point. Cheap chat."

Marler did apologise to Heenan on social media after the incident, claiming he owed the New Zealander a drink in the New Year.

But that did not prove worthy of escaping punishment as he was also ordered to provide a presentation at a local school, club or academy on the core values of the game.

"The player accepted that his conduct was prejudicial to the interests of the game," said the RFU's disciplinary panel chairman Gareth Graham following Friday's hearing.

"Rugby's core values are not empty words or slogans which can be signed up to and then ignored. They are integral to the game. The insulting and offensive comments made by the player were wholly inappropriate; such comments should form no part of the modern game."

Marler was fined £20,000 and slapped with a two-match ban for calling Wales prop Samson Lee 'gypsy boy' during a match in 2016.

And in 2020, Marler received a 10-week suspension for grabbing Wales legend Alun Wyn Jones by the genitals during a Six Nations game.

Borthwick changes half of England team for Six Nations opener against ScotlandBorthwick changes half of England team for Six Nations opener against Scotland

Ben Parsons

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