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Joe Marler explains the 'personal reasons' behind his England withdrawal

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

England loosehead Joe Marler has taken to Twitter to explain the ‘personal reasons’ behind why he’s withdrawing from the Eddie Jones’ Guinness Six Nations squad.

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England revealed that Joe Launchbury and Marler have both been withdrawn from the squad, the former with a broken leg. However England listed Marler as being withdrawn for ‘personal reasons’.

Marler was quick to address speculation as to why he has once again removed himself from international duty, taking to Twitter minutes after the news broke.

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Cameron Redpath | All Access
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Cameron Redpath | All Access

“Always grateful for the opportunity so not an easy decision, but want to do right by my family in these crazy times and won’t be meeting up with the squad for this tournament,” wrote Marler.

“Look forward to watching the team rip in. Go well”

Harlequins have confirmed that he will be available for the club during the period: “Following confirmation today that Marler has withdrawn from England’s 2021 Guinness Six Nations squad for personal reasons, the club can confirm that the England and British and Irish Lions star will be available for selection for Harlequins’ Round 7 Gallagher Premiership fixture away to Wasps at the Ricoh Arena.”

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This isn’t the first time the prop has removed himself from England duty. Marler retired from international rugby in 2018 due to the stress around being involved with the national side.

He ultimately did a u-turn, returning to England duty in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Launchbury is replaced by Charlie Ewels in the squad and Tom West replaces Marler, although the Wasps wasn’t originally included in Jones’ first ‘shadow squad’. Jones named a 12-player shadow squad, who will be part of the same testing protocols as the tournament squad, to act as replacements should Eddie need players in his 28-man main squad.

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