England International Launches Stinging Attack On Alun Wyn Jones Following Joe Marler Ban
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England and Harlequins fullback Mike Brown has launched a stinging attack on Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones after Joe Marler was handed a 10-week ban following a controversial ‘testicle fondling’ incident in the Six Nations.
Marler was cited for what seemed to be a relatively innocuous incident after the game as a result of an online “witch-hunt” according to Browne, aided by comments after the game from Jones where he called for World Rugby to act.
Writing in a column for Mail Online Brown strongly defended his Harlequins teammate.
“It was a silly mistake I’m not condoning, but all it warranted was a slap on the wrist. Instead, he has been the victim of a witch-hunt and an equally ridiculous outcome,” writes Brown.
“He’s been sanctioned for twisting or grabbing — which is an aggressive act — but it’s clear Marler was never trying to rip off the Welsh guy’s privates. It was never a forceful motion.”
Brown reckons rugby is guilty of “double standards” and accused Jones of ‘hounding’ Kyle Sinckler last year and noted how he was “dubbed a genius” for his actions at the time.
“What concerns me is that rugby seems to be guilty of double standards, with the sport treating certain people in certain ways. If the roles were reversed between Marler and Jones, would there be all this hysteria?”
“I’m not sure. Jones hounded Kyle Sinckler for the whole game last year with verbals and cheap shots, but he was dubbed a genius. If I did that, the Welsh fans would be calling me every name under the sun.
“As soon as Jones made an issue out of the Marler incident in his press conference, it was inevitable the story would turn into a circus. As soon as an incident starts generating headlines, World Rugby have to be seen to be doing something about it.”
Brown said Jones is an “intelligent” guy and reckons he knew exactly what he was doing when he made this comments about the incident post-match.
“By all accounts, Jones is an intelligent guy with a law degree. He must have known that by criticising the officials for not picking up on the incident it would turn up the heat on Marler,” Brown continued.
“They have been on Lions tours together so I was surprised by that. There’s an unwritten rule that you don’t turn on another player unless they’ve done something beyond the pale. Maybe I’m just too old-school?”
“I feel like Jones knows the type of person Marler is. He’s a joker and people love him for it. Everyone wants characters and unpredictability, but if you turn on them every time something goes wrong they will quickly disappear,” continues Brown.
“Would Jones have said anything if Wales had won? I’m not sure. I don’t think it would have been a story.
“Unless Jones was genuinely uncomfortable with it – which I’m not sure he was because, like it or not, these things happen pretty regularly in rugby – he could have just laughed it off.”