Marler to face no action over Lee incident


England prop Joe Marler is free to play in their Six Nations Grand Slam decider against France after it was announced he would face no action for his abuse of Wales' Samson Lee.

Marler apologised during half-time of England's 25-21 win over Wales at Twickenham after calling Lee 'gyspy boy'.

The Harlequins front row was also reminded of his responsibilities following the incident and has avoided any further action following an investigation by Six Nations Rugby.

Earlier on Wednesday, Marler escaped punishment for striking Rob Evans in the head in the same game.

A Six Nations statement read: "Further to a comment made by Joe Marler to Samson Lee during the England v Wales match at Twickenham on Saturday 12th March, Six Nations Rugby have conducted a thorough investigation which has just concluded.

"Six Nations Rugby are aware of the seriousness of Mr Marler's comment and do not in any way condone what was said.

"Six Nations Rugby have considered the reports in detail and noted the fact Mr Marler deeply regretted what he had said and had immediately and unprompted apologised to Mr Lee at half time. They also noted that head coach of England Eddie Jones had reprimanded Mr Marler and reminded him of his responsibilities as an international rugby player.

"Six Nations Rugby have accepted the explanation provided that the comment was one made in the heat of the moment.

"Having taken all the facts into account no further disciplinary action will be taken. Six Nations Rugby consider that this matter is now closed."

Marler added in a statement: "I have accepted from the outset that I made a misguided remark to Samson. It was made in the heat of the moment. I apologised, unprompted, to Samson Lee at half time and this was accepted.

"As ever we shook hands and exchanged smiles at the end of the game. I have been warned very clearly by Eddie Jones how comments like this are unacceptable. I will certainly conduct myself differently in future.

"I do not condone racism in any form, at any time, deeply regret the incident and intend to reflect the behaviours expected of an England player going forward.

"Once again I apologise for the upset my inappropriate remark has caused."