England prop Joe Marler has deployed a fresh cryptic Tweet to react to news that as many as 100 English rugby players are considering launching their own players’ union.

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The Telegraph report that there is growing frustration among some players around the Rugby Players Assocation (RPA). The players believe that the current union is too closely tied to Premiership Rugby, who are one of their main funding streams.

Amid across the board pay cuts enforced by the clubs, Damian Hopley’s longstanding union have been accused of ‘not turning up’ in the crisis due to its heavy reliance on funding from Premiership Rugby. 

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The sense of injustice is further fuelled by how clubs have allegedly colluded not to sign each other players, leaving about 55 top-flight players in limbo as they are coming to the end of their current contracts on June 30 with nothing agreed beyond that date.

There has also been speculation that some clubs are looking to reduce the £7million salary cap, a development that would put a further squeeze on player wages if implemented.

There doesn’t appear to be too much sympathy from Marler, who has Tweeted a cryptic response to the row. Instead of using words, he has tweeted five donut emojis, presumably suggesting that the players in questions are ‘donuts’.

It isn’t the first oddball Tweet from Marler. Following many England squad announcements, he would write ‘utter shambles’.

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Marler had left the platform, temporarily deactivating the account in the wake of the Alun Wyn Jones ‘Grabgate’ incident. However, he has returned in recent weeks, much to the pleasure of his many fans and supporters.

It’s been a good few days for the colourful England prop. It was recently revealed that Marler will complete his 10-week ban from rugby without missing a match due to the coronavirus shutdown.

Marler was handed the suspension on March 12 after being found guilty of grabbing Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones by the genitals during England’s stormy 33-30 win in the Guinness Six Nations.

Under World Rugby guidelines, each week of a ban should correspond to a match, with Marler’s suspension set to cover a 12-week period during which the Harlequins player had been due to play 10 times.

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The ban expires on June 7 and that time frame will not change despite the suspension in play due to the pandemic having wiped out the fixtures which Marler was due to miss.

The Gallagher Premiership will not resume before June 27 at the earliest.

additional reporting Press Association

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