Jones calls on World Rugby to review Marler incident


Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones called on World Rugby, the sport’s governing body, to review an incident during his side’s 33-30 Six Nations defeat to England on Saturday when opposition prop Joe Marler appeared to grab him around the groin area.

After just 10 minutes of the Twickenham game a melee broke out when Wales had a try disallowed for a George North knock-on, and the incident was caught on camera.

“What would you do?” Jones said in a post-match media conference when asked about the incident. “I’ve got 138 Tests for my country. If I react, I get a red card. It’s tough, isn’t it?

“Hopefully World Rugby have a look at it. Joe’s a good bloke, lots of things happen on a rugby field. It’s difficult as a captain these days because you can’t speak to a ref about anything, it feels.

“I look at the touch judge, obviously he didn’t see what happened and that’s fine. There’s a lot of footage that has been shown, it seems like a lot of supporters saw what happened.

“It’s very frustrating that we talk a lot about TMOs and footage reviews, yet there doesn’t seem to be a lot of it happening.”

Jones was asked whether the incident should be taken lightly or treated as a more serious matter.

“I think it needs to be taken in the context of the game,” Jones added. “But with regards to the judicial panel that rugby has surrounding each game, as players — removing myself and Joe from this and the game itself — that’s what we need to focus on. Not the incident or the individual.”

Saturday’s result was a third consecutive defeat for new Wales coach Wayne Pivac, who replaced Warren Gatland after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The loss leaves his side with just seven points from their opening four Six Nations matches and at risk of falling into fifth place if Scotland beat France in Edinburgh on Sunday.

“We played a little bit too much rugby,” said Pivac. “It’s about getting the balance right. Where we play and when we play.

“We will review that game like we do any game. We’ll be tough on ourselves. We’re here to win Test matches and we haven’t done that in recent weeks.”

England ended the game with 13 men on the field after prop Ellis Genge was shown a yellow card and Manu Tuilagi was then sent off for a dangerous tackle in the final minutes of the game.

Wales took full advantage, scoring two converted tries to recover from 33-16 down and claim a losing bonus point. They also set a new record for the most points they have scored at Twickenham — surpassing the 28 they posted during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

“We were frustrated with conceding those points in the first half,” said Pivac. “We came out and scored just after the break and then we needed to manage the game a bit better. The positive was we kept going and built pressure in the right ends of the field.”

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