England prop Joe Marler has dismissed calls for him to be banned after being spotted grabbing Welsh captain Alun Wyn Jones’ testicles during a match.
The incident, dubbed ‘Tweakgate’, happened during England’s 33-30 Six Nations win over Wales on Saturday.
Marler could be facing a minimum 12-week suspension from the sport, or a maximum FOUR-YEAR ban, if found guilty of any wrongdoing.
The bizarre moment wasn’t picked up by referee Ben O’Keefe, but Jones has called for retrospective punishment for the England star.
“If I react, I get a red card. Hopefully World Rugby have a look at it,” Jones said, as per The Sun.
“I looked across at the touch judge and he obviously didn’t see anything. But we talk a lot about TMOs and what they review, so it was frustrating this wasn’t dealt with there.”
Marler was quick to give his side of the story on Twitter – that after some fans had demanded he face sex assault charges.
After the game, the Harlequins man didn’t pull his punches and tweeted: “B******s. Complete b******s.”
It isn’t the first time Marler has courted controversy. In a match at Twickenham in 2016, he was handed a two-game ban and fined £20,000 for calling Welsh prop Samson Lee a ‘Gypsy Boy’.
Marler isn’t the only one to have come under fire for his comments following the event, however.
While reacting to the incident after the game, ex-Welsh captain Gareth Thomas, who came out as gay almost a decade ago, caused a stir with his ‘controversial’ take on it.
Speaking while working as a pundit on ITV Sport, he said: “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.”
Thomas has since apologised for the remark, tweeting: “To the VERY small minority of people who were offended by my comment yesterday I apologise.
“I tried to find humour in a situation – that doesn’t mean I condone it, it means I wanted it to not be an issue. So don’t change the narrative to justify how you feel.”
England currently sit top of the Six Nations table, joint on points with France after they lost to Scotland on Sunday.
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