Eddie Jones mocks Wales for Gatland apology

Warren Gatland. Photo / AP
Warren Gatland. Photo / AP

Eddie Jones has mocked Wales for backtracking on their comments over Joe Marler's "gypsy boy" slur.

Marler was cleared for aiming the racist jibe at Samson Lee, after Wales head coach Warren Gatland initially played down the incident as "just banter".

The WRU later retracted Gatland's comment, before issuing a statement on Thursday expressing their disappointment that the England prop was not banned.

"If you look at the Wales statement from Wednesday, they don't know whether they're Arthur or Martha," said Jones. "At one time yesterday they didn't (think it was racist) and now they do. They're allowed to do that.

"We're not interested in controlling social media or saying what's right and what's wrong.

"There's been a decision made and we'll run with that decision. That's why we have these committees."

The phrase "Arthur or Martha" is an Australian colloquialism used to express a state of confusion.

Jones claimed Marler was dropped to the bench on tactical grounds, rather than as an internal punishment, with Mako Vunipola promoted to the No 1 jersey.

"Joe trained well in the week. He trained on the wing on Tuesday and looked pretty good, but he's probably better at prop," said Jones. "He's in the side as prop. I'm not punishing him at all.

"I've said what I have to say on it. We have got a Grand Slam in front of us.

"A Grand Slam is much more interesting than something that happened seven days ago that's been well and truly discussed."

England will travel to Paris by Eurostar on Friday morning as they bid to win their first Grand Slam since 2003.

Les Bleus have outlined their intent to put "a knife in the back" of the clean sweep bid, but Jones believes his 'fittest ever' squad are going to be hard to beat.

"It's a new England side and we have got a massive opportunity on Saturday," said Jones.

"We're well placed to win the Grand Slam. We're fitter than an England side has ever been.

"We're tactically more flexible. The side we're putting out on Saturday (Sunday NZT) is one of our most experienced teams. This new England side has a great opportunity to make history by becoming the 13th English side to win the Grand Slam."

Meanwhile, Shay Clipson, of the National Alliance of the Gipsy, Traveller and Roma Women, has called Marler a "thug" and hit out at the decision not to ban him.

"They've sent out a message now, the Rugby Football Union, the Welsh Rugby Union, and this disciplinary panel, that you can name-call gypsy children," she told The Telegraph.

"One little boy was kicked to death while being told, 'It doesn't matter, he's just a gypo'. Where does it end?

"What's going to happen now today in a schoolyard when somebody ruffs up a gypsy kid or upsets him or her? A teacher may well think, 'It's just a bit of banter'. It's not banter. It's never banter.

"It's not banter if you're black, it's not banter if you're Chinese, it's not banter if you're a Muslim, and it's bloody well not banter if you're a gypsy either. I'm angry. I'm very, very angry."

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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