England boss Eddie Jones has urged Joe Marler not to quit rugby after the controversy surrounding his final game of the Six Nations.
However, Jones’ warns that ultimately the decision will lie with the controversial prop.
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Marler was caught on camera appearing to momentarily hold Welsh skipper Alun Wyn Jones genitals and was subsequently given a 10-week ban by the RFU.
He received a torrent of abuse online and it was reported that the loosehead was considering packing in the sport completely.
Jones said: “I think you have just got to look at the Beast, who was probably at his best in the World Cup in 2019 at the age of 34.
“Joe is still a relatively young man and has got a lot of rugby ahead of him — but you have to have the desire to want to keep playing and only Joe knows that.
“At the end of the day he is a great player but we want players who want to play for England and he will make that decision.
“There is a lot of depth to him as a character.
“He has obviously made some mistakes but he is a great team man, he is good rugby player and he is a good person and I look forward to having a chat to him at the appropriate time.”
“We keep in contact with texts here and there.
“We were due to catch up in Horsham a couple of weeks ago but social distancing rules came in so we were unable to do that. But I will catch up with Joe face to face.”
England are set to tour Japan this summer, although the pandemic could be a stop it yet.
“We were going to pick the strongest side available.
“There were certain guidelines in place about who was eligible and who was not. If the tour goes ahead, we will look again. Japan are the ninth-ranked team in the world.
“They’ve beaten Ireland and Scotland over the past three years, so we want to be taking a strong team.”
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