The "gypsy boy" row involving Joe Marler took a twist with his club revealing the England prop was taunted for being a "posh English ****".

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea defended Marler against fresh footage of him telling Samson Lee to "get back in his caravan" during England's Six Nations win over Wales.

Marler played the full 80 minutes for Harlequins against Northampton in the weekend but now faces a lengthy ban as he prepares to stand trial for his racial slur against the Wales prop during the Six Nations.

"There were a couple of things said to him with words that you can't use," said O'Shea. "But such is life - posh, English and a four-letter word seems to be fine one way and not the other.


"For the process to drag is not fair on Joe, especially when you know some of the things that were said to him. Both players apologised to each other. There should never be racism but there are some very pious people pontificating."

The 25-year-old front-row escaped punishment initially and RFU CEO Ian Ritchie called for "a line to be drawn". But the saga continues to rumble. "You wonder if we should just get rid of referee microphones," said O'Shea.