Six Nations chiefs have defended their handling of Joe Marler following World Rugby's decision to hand the England international a ban.

Six Nations chiefs defend handling of Marler case

Six Nations chiefs defend handling of Marler case

The Six Nations hierarchy had originally chose to not ban Marler following his 'gypsy boy' comment towards Wales' Samson Lee during the clash at Twickenham on March 12.

World Rugby, however, adopted a different stance to their Six Nations counterparts, as they handed the Harlequins player a two-match ban and fined him £20,000 for the incident.

Six Nations chiefs have now released a statement defending their handling of the whole situation, and they insist that they respect World Rugby's decision following a six-hour hearing on Tuesday.

The statement read: "Six Nations Rugby made it clear that it did not condone what had been said by Mr Marler in the match, but it decided, in all the circumstances, that it would not take any further disciplinary action against Mr Marler.

"World Rugby has, in its regulations, over-arching disciplinary powers, which it has sought to exercise in this case. It is clear from the decision today that World Rugby disagreed with Six Nations Rugby’s assessment in this case. Six Nations Rugby has no difficulty with that."

The two-match ban means Marler will miss his club side's European Challenge Cup quarter-final against London Irish on Saturday, as well as the clash with Saracens in the Aviva Premiership seven days later.