England forward Joe Marler is facing sanctions from the Rugby Football Union after attacking former Australia coach Bob Dwyer on Twitter. Marler hit out at Dwyer over his criticism of the scrummaging tactics employed by Dan Cole during the 39-28 win over the Wallabies in Brisbane. The RFU has strict guidelines regarding social media use and Marler, who is not on tour Down Under as he is undergoing psychological counselling, looks likely to be reprimanded for his obscene language.
After Michael Cheika's team were continually penalised at the scrum during the first Test at Suncorp Stadium, Dwyer – who coached Australia to victory in the 1991 World Cup – joined former captain Phil Kearns in panning the approach of the England front-row, particularly Cole. The Leicester Tigers prop was slammed for the illegal angle of his drive, which was missed by referee Romain Poite.
Eddie Jones, the England coach, backed the man in the middle for the second test (Craig Joubert) to ignore Kearns' comments and slammed an "organised" campaign by local media figures. But Dwyer continued the scrutiny of the performance of the officials, with Cole identified as the main protagonist in the scrum, where the tourists secured such an important foothold after conceding two tries in the first 15 minutes.
"How anyone could have allowed Dan Cole to scrummage the way he did was absolutely beyond me," Dwyer said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. "How two assistant referees and one referee on the pitch could allow him to consistently and blatantly break the laws of the game, I'm not sure. I couldn't say that Dan Cole's experience and ability didn't play a big part in his clear points win over Scott Sio, but we do expect some semblance of accuracy in accordance with the laws of the game.
"On one occasion, in particular, Cole's backside was out of the scrum facing one sideline and his head was in the scrum facing the other sideline. His most consistent offence was angling in but on other occasions he managed to roll his right shoulder and give nothing to push against, causing Scott Sio to roll in as well. More times than not it was a penalty [against Australia].
Marler responded to the comments regarding his teammate by writing on Twitter "Bob Dwyer is a w****r". The message was quickly deleted before the Harlequins loose-head set his account to private – which blocks his account to those who do not follow him.
The episode is the latest controversial incident involving the 25-year-old, who ruled himself out of the first ever three-match series between Australia and England in order to address the reasons behind a spate of disciplinary problems. In April, Marler was banned for two games and fined £20,000 for calling Wales prop Samson Lee a "gypsy boy" during the Six Nations, before receiving an identical suspension for kicking Grenoble hooker Arnaud Héguy in the European Challenge Cup semi-final.
Formerly of Esher and Worthing, Marler has enlisted the services of former England cricketer-turned-sporting-psychologist Jeremy Snape to help him conquer his aggression, but the affair is another setback in his chequered career during which Marler has been capped 42 times by his country.