British & Irish Lions 2021

Six Nations bad boys Marler, Haouas free to play

2020-04-26 20:02
Alun Wyn Jones and Joe Marler (Getty Images)
Alun Wyn Jones and Joe Marler (Getty Images)

England front-rower Joe Marler will be free to return to rugby as soon as competition resumes despite currently serving a lengthy suspension.

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The Harlequins stalwart was handed a 10-match suspension for grabbing the groin of Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones in their Six Nations match in March.

Under World Rugby guidelines, each week of suspension needs to correspond to a match, meaning Marler would miss 12 weeks and 10 matches of Harlequins’ season.

That suspension concludes on 7 June and that timeframe is not set to change despite the fact no matches have been played with the competition shut down.

The Premiership will not resume until at least 27 June, meaning Marler may not actually miss a single match of the season despite his ban.

It had been reported that Marler was contemplating retirement after being handed the ban and the high-profile personality had deactivated his social media accounts in the wake of the controversy.

Marler is not the only suspended player who will benefit from this shutdown in a way.

His England team-mate, Leicester Tigers centre, Manu Tuilagi was given a four-match ban for an illegal tackle in the same match and that suspension expired earlier this month.

The same applies to France prop Mohamed Haouas who was handed a three-week ban for striking Scotland flank Jamie Ritchie in the face and would've also been free to play from 14 April.

 

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