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'He stamped on my head because I held on to his leg. It was my own fault'

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England's Joe Marler has history with Argentina

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Joe Marler insists England will match the passion of Argentina as he reflects on the incident that produced two cards when he last faced the Pumas.


Eddie Jones’ men continue their World Cup quest on Saturday aiming to secure the triumph that could guarantee their passage into the quarter-final where they are likely to meet Australia.

Marler’s most recent outing against Argentina was staged at Twickenham three years ago when he was the victim of a stamp by replacement prop Enrique Pieretto Heiland.

Heiland was shown a red card and subsequently banned for seven weeks, but Marler admits his own role in the incident that resulted in him being sin-binned.

“Argentina are very passionate. I wouldn’t say they are niggly, they are just an extremely passionate nation and I guess so are we, so it gets a bit heated like that,” Marler said.

“He (Heiland) stamped on my head because I held on to his leg. It was my own fault. But you can’t stamp on people any more. And that was the right call. It was also the right call for me to get yellowed.”


Marler has acted as England’s senior loosehead in the absence of Mako Vunipola, who made an aborted comeback from a hamstring injury during the warm-up Tests and has only just recovered.

The number one jersey is hotly contested with Marler and Vunipola taken to Japan alongside Ellis Genge, the rampaging young Leicester forward nicknamed “Baby Rhino”.

“There are three guys going for two shirts, so that doesn’t work. It’s great to have Mako back and he’s been in training for the last couple of weeks anyway,” Marler said.


“He’s back fully fit and he brings world-class experience and talent into that role. So….I’ve enjoyed my time!

“I’m determined to give as much as I can to this group to help us win the game on Saturday.”

Eddie Jones on Thursday names his team for the first of two pivotal Pool C encounters – France follow Argentina seven days later – and Vunipola is sure to be present in some capacity.

“Mako needs to be the best version of himself and we know what he is capable of,” scrum coach Neal Hatley said.

“He is a 50-cap player and we know what he brings as a ball carrier and the influence he has defensively on the team.

“But Joe Marler and Ellis Genge have been going exceptionally well and we want that competition within the team to create pressure on the players to work harder and produce more.

“What we produce on the weekend will be a product of what we do in training and Mako is going to have to work hard.”

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