England prop Joe Marler is on the verge of quitting rugby according to reports coming out of the UK this morning.
The Daily Mail are reporting that the loosehead is questioning if he wants to return to the game after the backlash over a high-profile indiscretion during the Six Nations.
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England beat Wales 33-30, but Marler was caught on camera grabbing Alun Wyn Jones genitals during the opening minutes of the match in Twickenham. The incident blew up and became a talking point both across traditional media and on social media platforms.
The Welsh skipper complained about the incident – which initially went unpunished – after the match at a press conference, and Marler was subsequently banned for 10 weeks by a disciplinary panel.
The backlash was most keenly felt on Twitter, where many rounded on the colourful frontrow, who is known for excentricities and left-field humour. While the majority took the incident relatively lightly, a vocal minority took the Harlequin to task for grab, with some evenly claiming it was a sexual assault.
He has since deleted his Twitter account, suggesting the prop had enough of the abuse being hurled at him online.
Now The Daily Mail are suggesting that Marler is on verge of quitting the game entirely. According to the paper, Marler’s lockdown with his family has given him time to think about this future in the game.
Realistically, professional rugby could be suspended for months to come. Marler last re-signed with Harlequins in 2018 until 2021, which means he has another season to serve at the West London club.
However, he could vacate his contract.
Should Marler quit rugby, it wouldn’t be his first unorthodox move.
In 2018, Marler sensationally quit international rugby, then aged just 28, due to the strain it was putting on him and his young family. He came back in 2019 following a Rugby World Cup SOS from Eddie Jones.
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