Why Marler won a reprieve in judicial battle

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 10:37

NEWS: Prop Joe Marler will be available for the second match of England's year-end Test series after the expiry date of his three-week suspension for striking was brought forward.

Marler is now free to play from midnight on November 12, meaning that - although he will miss the opener against Argentina at Twickenham on November 11 - he will be able to play against Australia, the following Saturday.

The adjustment to the dates of Marler's ban, which remains at three weeks, comes after his club Harlequins argued he would have played in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on November 5, having been omitted from the England squad named for the year-end series on Thursday.

Marler pleaded guilty to striking Wasps player Will Rowlands with his forearm in Harlequins' 41-10 defeat by Wasps on Sunday.

A disciplinary committee initially rejected a request for England's training camp on the weekend of November 4 and 5 to be included within the suspension even though he would not have played a match.

However, once the 27-year-old prop was excluded from Eddie Jones's 34-man training squad bound for Portugal next week, thereby making him available for club duty, Harlequins informed the committee that he would have been selected for the opening two rounds of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

The committee - which included former Scotland coach Frank Hadden - then brought forward the end date for the ban.

"Marler remains suspended for three weeks after being found guilty of striking with the arm during the Champions Cup, round two match between Wasps and Harlequins at the Ricoh Arena," a statement from the committee said.

"However, it has now been decided that his suspension will end at midnight on Sunday, 12 November."

Agence France-Presse