Search icon


18th Mar 2023

“Utterly ridiculous” – Joe Marler and several England legends fume at red card

Rory Fleming

red card

Freddie Steward received a controversial red card from Jaco Peyper.

England full back Freddie Steward received a red card for an elbow to the head of his Irish counterpart Hugo Keenan on the stroke of half time as his English side seek to halt Ireland’s Grand Slam push.

The incident happened at breakneck speed, with Steward protesting his innocence to South African referee Jaco Peyper. However, Peyper was adamant that “in the current climate” it was a definite red card.

Despite the referee’s assuredness in brandishing the red card towards the Leicester Tigers back, a number of former England internationals have taken to social media to express their anger with the decision.

83-time-capped England prop Joe Marler believed the call was incredulous, tweeting his ire at the half time interval, with the Harlequins loosened labelling the incident “utterly ridiculous”.

Former England centre Will Carling was another who didn’t agree with the potentially decisive call, with the one-time British and Irish Lion calling Peyper’s decision “a bloody joke”.

The 72-time-capped international also lamented the decision making process, suggesting that the speed of the incident should have been taken into account by the referee and TMO; “Steward had a split second to react”.

Outspoken pundit Austin Healy also chimed in online, with the former England and Leicester Tigers scrum half tweeting an expletive-laden response to Steward’s dismissal just before the half time whistle.

It was not just the English though who felt Freddie Steward was unfortunate to see red, with former Ireland full back Rob Kearney also calling the decision harsh, during the half time television analysis.

Kearney and former teammate Shane Horgan disagreed on the incident, with the former arguing that “That is not an attempted tackle, he is trying to get out of the way!”

Related Articles:

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?