Welsh Rugby Union 'surprised' by decision not to punish England prop Joe Marler for Samson Lee comments

The loosehead prop also avoided sanctions for striking Rob Evans

The Welsh Rugby Union says it is surprised at the decision not to sanction England prop Joe Marler for the “racist language” he used towards Wales’ Samson Lee last weekend.

Loosehead prop Marler was cleared to play in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations match against France by the tournament’s disciplinary committee despite striking one Wales prop – Rob Evans – and calling Lee a “gypsy boy”. 

He has been left out of the starting XV to face Les Bleus in a match England need to win to secure the Grand Slam, but Jones insists his omission from the line-up had nothing to do with the Lee incident.

“We are surprised by the decision of the Six Nations disciplinary hearing,” the WRU statement read.

“We stand by our belief that there is no place for the use of racist language in sport.”

The WRU statement on Thursday was at odds with initial remarks from their national coach Warren Gatland, who described the incident as “banter”. Gatland later apologised for describing the incident in that way.

England coach Eddie Jones picked up on this apparent contradiction, stating at his press conference on Thursday: “Maybe (the WRU) don’t know whether they are Arthur or Martha.

“There was a decision made, that is what we have these judiciary committees for. I said I would let the process run its route – it has run its route.”

Referring to the contradictory messages coming from the Wales camp, Jones told Sky Sports News: “Everyone is keen for England not to win the Grand Slam.

Asked if that meant he thought the WRU statement was designed to undermine England’s Grand Slam bid, Jones replied: “Why else would they (release the statement).”

But Jones said he would not be speaking to Gatland about the situation, adding: “I don’t think it is anything to do with Warren.

“This is why you having citing commissions. Once they have made their decision you get on with – you don’t say it (the decision) is wrong.”

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