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Friday Jul 23, 2021

REACTION: Ex-Ireland forward Francis sacked over Marcus Smith 'Oompa Loompa' comments

Former Ireland international Neil Francis has received a backlash of complaints after comparing Marcus Smith’s skin tone to an ‘Oompa Loompa’.

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The 57-year-old was talking on the Irish Independent podcast ‘The Left Wing Podcast’ when Francis described Smith as having a “David Beckham haircut and an Oompa Loompa tan”.

Smith was a late call-up to the squad after inspiring a dramatic Premiership title for Harlequins earlier this summer and was born in the Philippines to a British father and Filipino mother.

“We find the remarks offensive and have written to the Independent to express our deep dissatisfaction,” said a Lions spokesperson.

A statement from Harlequins also read: “Harlequins is disgusted by offensive comments made by an Independent.ie columnist regarding Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith and await a reply regarding the matter.”

Francis played 36 Tests for Ireland between 1987 and 1996 and is now receiving a lot of complaints through social media after being sacked by Mediahuis Ireland for his comments.

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