Joe Marler has rounded off his ten-week ban by signing a contract extension with Harlequins. The England prop was suspended until June 8 after a disciplinary hearing committee decided he had committed an act of red-card foul play when he squeezed the genitals Wales’ Alun Wyn Jones in the first half of a March 7 Guinness Six Nations match.

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While neither England nor Harlequins have played a match since Marler’s ban was enforced on March 12 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, disciplinary officials said the suspension was time and not match based which means it expires next Monday.

Ahead of that date, Harlequins have now confirmed that Marler has signed an extension with the Gallagher Premiership club he has represented on more than 200 occasions. “I’m a Harlequin and I love the club,” he explained.

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Premiership Rugby have announced the start date for the resumption of the suspended 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season

“Growing up with Harlequins as my boyhood team, I remember getting thrown out of The Stoop as a fan when I was twelve because I had tried to run on the pitch. Now I get the chance to continue my journey with great friends, team-mates, coaches, and fans, without getting thrown out… yet!

“I’m immensely proud to have played for Quins over 200 times so far, I even managed to convince one of the previous bosses (Conor O’Shea) to make me captain once. Even more so during this pandemic affecting every single one of us, I cannot wait for my next opportunity to pull on the jersey, run out at The Stoop and welcome back the Quins family.”

Harlequins boss Paul Gustard added: “It’s outstanding news that Joe has committed his long-term future to the club. He is, without doubt, one of the best props in world rugby and arguably the very best scrummaging loosehead prop in the modern era.

“It’s vital in the Premiership to have strong set-piece fundamentals and securing Joe’s future allows us to build a formidable front row with hookers like Elia Elia and Scott Baldwin allied with our new signing, the ginormous and destructive tighthead prop Wilco Louw, which gives us some real presence in the tight five.

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“Joe’s infectious personality off the field is as large as his presence on it and we are delighted he has shown his continued loyalty and commitment. I know his signature will spread plenty of smiles and give huge satisfaction to our fans and especially those that love the ‘dark arts’ of the front row.”

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