Rugby

Danny Care Invokes 'Banter' Defence For Joe Marler

Danny Care Invokes 'Banter' Defence For Joe Marler

Joe Marler will sit before a disciplinary hearing on Thursday after being cited for grabbing the genitalia of Alun Wyn Jones during England's victory over Wales at the weekend.

If found to have done wrong, the England prop could be hit with a 12-week ban. However, his club teammate Danny Care believes Marler is guilty of nothing more than 'rugby banter'.

"If you know Joe and you've played with him or spent a lot of time with him, you know he hasn't done it in a malicious way," the Harlequins scrum-half told the BBC's Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

"You know he hasn't gone out there to annoy anyone or anger anyone or disrespect anyone. He's done it in Joe's way of being Joe.

"Alun Wyn Jones is a team-mate of his from the Lions - I'm pretty sure they're mates. The scuffle has broken out, Joe's tried to make light of it and do what he's done on Alun Wyn Jones.

"When I saw it, I just thought it was two lads messing around who were good mates but I can completely understand the massively split reaction.

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"Out of the context of sport and as a bit of banter it obviously isn't funny. You put that in any other place of work and there's going to be some serious repercussions from it.

"I think anyone involved in rugby... things like that are seen as a joke. It's seen as a bit of banter. I don't see an awful lot wrong with it."

Jones said following Saturday's game that Marler is a "good guy" but also hoped that World Rugby would look at the incident.

Picture credit: Sportsfile

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