Joe Marler would be willing to interrupt his international retirement during the World Cup if called upon by Eddie Jones to solve an injury crisis at loosehead prop.
Even the slither of doubt over Vunipola highlights the absence of Marler but the 59-cap Harlequins veteran is satisfied with last year’s decision to end his Test career in order to spend more time with his family.
“If they needed me to go out there and help them out, I’d have the conversation with my wife and think about it and say ‘yeah all right, I’ll help you out’,” Marler said.
“If it was an SOS scenario it would definitely be something I’d consider, but they’re not in an SOS scenario.
“Me and Eddie have kept in contact on a casual basis, exchanged some messages about particular wines that we like, but nothing more than that.
“If they were desperate I would give them a hand, but they’re not, so, I’m happy where I’m at. I look forward to watching it as a fan and hopefully they go well.”
Marler is impressed by Genge, Moon, and Hepburn with the trio covering during Vunipola’s injury-hit season.
“For me, I wouldn’t be able to just walk up and just immerse myself in it all again. Boys have been f****** grafting for years,” he said.
“And massively there’s a respect for the boys who have stepped in when Mako was injured during the year.
“Not only has Mako been brilliant, but the boys came in, stepped up and proved their worth there.
“For the whole 12-18 months they have been doing that, so if someone went ‘I’ll come along even though I have done no work, done nothing’, then that is disrespectful.”
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