Harlequins and England prop Joe Marler was yesterday banned for two games and fined £20,000 for calling Wales forwards Samson Lee a “gypsy boy”.

Marler had gone to Twitter to state his case on the eve of World Rugby’s decision stating: “I’m not a racist… Whatever happens to me tomorrow I will accept. I’m sorry to anyone who was offended…”

The 25-year-old had escaped punishment from the Six Nations organisers, who said it had no difficulty in being over-ruled by World Rugby.

There is no chance of appeal.

Marler also tweeted: “What I said to Samson was out of order and wrong and I am sorry it was said, we shook hands at the end of the game and looked to move on.

“…saying it was in the ‘heat of the moment’ isn’t an excuse, but one comment, one mistake, does not make me a racist.

“My wife, kids, family and friends (yes, I do have some friends) know this.”

Lee, a member of the traveller community, had accepted Marler’s apology for the comment, which took place during the Six Nations clash between England and Wales in March.

Welsh coach Warren Gatland dismissed the incident as “banter” and came under criticism for his remark, for which he later apologies.

Six Nations Rugby also came underfire for deciding not to impose any punishment on Marler leading to World Rugby’s decision to intervene.

It said it had "exercised its right to take appropriate action before an independent judicial committee in the absence of such a process by Six Nations Rugby in accordance with the regulations".

Six Nations Rugby said: “We fully co-operated with World Rugby's disciplinary process in this case, and fully supports and endorses World Rugby's disciplinary regime in international rugby.”

Marler will miss this weekend’s European Challenge Cup against London Irish at the Stoop, as well as the Aviva Premiership trip to Saracens on April 16.

He also played no part in Quins’ 46-25 win over Newcastle Falcons on Saturday that kept them five points behind Leicester in fourth place.

Tim Visser (two), Jack Clifford, Joe Gray, Joe Marchant and Marland Yarde went over the whitewash, and Ben Botica kicked the extras.