Six Nations

WRU 'surprised' by decision not to punish Marler

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has expressed surprise at Six Nations Rugby's decision not to punish Joe Marler for his abuse of Samson Lee.

Marler was cleared to play in England's Grand Slam showdown with France when tournament organisers opted not to take any further action against him for calling Lee "gypsy boy" during last Saturday's 25-21 win over Wales.

Harlequins prop Marler, who also escaped punishment for appearing to strike Rob Evans in the same game, apologised to Lee during half-time and was reminded of his responsibilities by England coach Eddie Jones.

Wales boss Warren Gatland apologised for dismissing Marler's comment as 'banter' and the WRU has taken a dim view of Six Nations Rugby's verdict.

A statement from the governing body read: "We are surprised by the decision of the Six Nations disciplinary hearing. We stand by our belief that there is no place for the use of racist language in sport.

"Clearly this incident has raised broader issues for the game of rugby which require follow up and which we are undertaking directly with Six Nations.

"Our focus now is on preparing for the final weekend of the championship and giving the Welsh public the win they deserve."