Joe Marler facing lengthy ban as RFU open investigation into comments that sparked Harlequins-Bristol brawl

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Joe Marler could face a lengthy suspension after being called to a disciplinary hearing for insulting Bristol’s Jake Heenan.

In-form prop Marler sparked an on-field scuffle in Harlequins’ 15-12 home Gallagher Premiership defeat by Bristol on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old is understood to have made a comment about Heenan’s mother, to which several Bristol players took exception.

Marler will now attend an RFU disciplinary hearing on Friday afternoon, where a guilty verdict could see him banned for at least six weeks.

“Joe Marler, Harlequins, has been charged under RFU Rule 5.12 for conduct prejudicial to the game for comments made to a Bristol Bears player during the match on Tuesday, December 27,” read an RFU statement.

“The hearing will take place at 4.20pm today, Friday, December 30.”

Marler apologised on social media when prompted by Bristol’s Steven Luatua, but that will be unlikely to stop him receiving a suspension for his actions.

Quins would be without Marler for their New Year’s Day trip to Northampton, should he receive a ban.

The accomplished front-rower could easily be in new boss Steve Borthwick’s thoughts for an England recall, so any suspension now would hinder those hopes.