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Joe Marler to start for Harlequins after England squad omission

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by PA)

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England sub loosehead Joe Marler is set to top up his game time ahead of the remainder of the Guinness Six Nations by starting for Harlequins in their Friday night Gallagher Premiership clash with Newcastle at The Stoop. The prop was one of 13 players who were involved in last week’s matchweek preparations not included in the 25-strong squad that Test boss Eddie Jones has in training with him in Bristol this week.  

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Marler had just 39 minutes off the bench across the three England games in February. Having started for his club in the previous international fallow week, playing 68 minutes on February 19 against Wasps, he will now look to do the same again by wearing his club’s No1 jersey in preparation for the upcoming Test matches against Ireland and France.   

The inclusion of Marler as a Harlequins front row starter along with tighthead Wilco Louw is the first time the pair have been chosen in tandem since last June’s Premiership final win over Exeter at Twickenham. 

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In total there are five changes to the starting XV from last weekend’s win over Worcester, academy hooker Sam Riley, Italian fly-half Tommy Allan and wing Louis Lynagh also returning to the lineup. A further change to the matchday 23 sees centre Luke Northmore return to fitness following a short stint on the sidelines – he had turned up at England training last month with a hamstring issue.

Meanwhile, Harlequins legend Mike Brown will play his first game back at The Stoop since last summer’s exit as he has been named at full-back in a Newcastle XV that includes England winger Adam Radwan to start.

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Harlequins head coach Tabai Matson said: “Our game against Newcastle in round one was tough. They targeted that game. We are glad that we were able to play well in the first game of the season and scrape through with a win. 

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“The table positions this weekend won’t mean a huge amount on each side’s performance. They will be coming down looking for any opportunity to disrupt us. They will have the genuine feeling that they can come down to London and get stuck put us off our game, so we are preparing for that.”

HARLEQUINS: 15. Tyrone Green; 14. Louis Lynagh, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Cadan Murley; 10. Tommy Allan, 9. Danny Care; 1. Joe Marler. 2. Sam Riley, 3. Wilco Louw, 4. Matt Symons, 5. Hugh Tizard, 6. Stephan Lewies (capt), 7. Tom Lawday, 8. Archie White. Reps: 16. Jack Walker, 17. Simon Kerrod, 18. Will Collier, 19. George Hammond, 20. Matas Jurevicius, 21. Lewis Gjaltema, 22. Will Edwards, 23. Luke Northmore.

NEWCASTLE: 15. Mike Brown; 14 Tom Penny (capt), 13. George Wacokecoke, 12. Pete Lucock, 11. Adam Radwan; 10. Will Haydon-Wood, 9. Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti; 1. Trevor Davison, 2. George McGuigan, 3. Mark Tampin, 4. Greg Peterson, 5. Rob Farrar, 6. Sean Robinson, 7. Josh Basham, 8. Tom Marshall. Reps: 16. Charlie Maddison, 17. Adam Brocklebank, 18. Richard Palframan, 19. Will Montgomery, 20. Freddie Lockwood, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Brett Connon, 23. Max Wright.

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