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Marler salutes tightest-ever England squad

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Marler claims England squad is 'tightest ever' despite the Brown-Te'o altercation

Joe Marler has described Eddie Jones’ current England squad as one of the tightest ever even though Mike Brown, his Harlequins team-mate, was involved in a training camp altercation with Ben Te’o.

Brown and Te’o ultimately failed to make the 31-strong squad announced on Monday by Jones that will travel to Japan next month for the World Cup. 

That followed an incident that occurred between the pair at a recent warm-weather camp in Treviso. As a result both were excluded by Jones from the squad last week for the warm-up match against Wales on Sunday the day before the World Cup squad announcement. 

Despite that situation, Marler, who came out of Test level retirement this summer after quitting the international scene last autumn, believes the squad he has returned to is massively tight.

That is quite a boast given that the 29-year-old was first capped by England in 2012 and has toured with the Lions.  

(Continue reading below…)

“It’s the tightest England group I’ve been involved in,” claimed Marler, who earned the last of his 59 Test caps in Cape Town in June 2018.

“To leave the scene for a period of time like I did and come back in and see how much the younger guys and the not-so-senior boys that were 18 months ago, to have seen them grow… they are starting to talk a lot more, their leadership roles have grown a lot more in the group – really impressive.”

“There’s a difference between being tight as a group and everyone being friendly and pally and all that. 

“We have still got enough in this group to challenge each other and question each other – in the right way – and also to understand that not everyone’s going to be best mates. 

“But we’re still able to get on with each other and work together because we all want to win the World Cup. That is all that counts.”

WATCH: Lewis Ludlum talks to RugbyPass about his England debut and World Cup selection 

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Marler claims England squad is 'tightest ever' despite the Brown-Te'o altercation