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Marler set to face England

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Marler's Barbarians call-up will generate England intrigue

Joe Marler will join the Barbarians squad that will face an England XV in the Quilter Cup match on 2 June.

The Harlequins prop has been called up by Pat Lam a year after appearing against the famous invitation side at Twickenham.

Marler, 28, won 59 caps for England between 2012 and 2018 before announcing his retirement from international rugby last November.

He joins a stellar line-up with those already confirmed including big names from New Zealand, Wales and Argentina like Charles Piutau, John Afoa, Steven Luatua  Malakai Fekitoa, Rhys Webb and Facundo Isa.

“Playing for the Barbarians is something I never thought would happen so I’m really excited to be involved — it’s a bit of dream come true,” said Marler.

“I’ve played against them for England, most recently last year, but it didn’t cross my mind that I’d get an invitation so I’m delighted to have been approached.

“I’m really looking forward to running out at Twickenham again but there’s also a bit of trepidation about walking into the Barbarians team room.

“It’ll be like the first day at school when you’re setting out to make a good impression. I know a few people like John Afoa but I’m sure I’ll have to win the others over!”

How Marler plays will be of great interest. After the news emerged last that England and Saracens prop Mako Vunipola will require surgery on a torn hamstring, calls were made on social media for the Harlequins loosehead to come out of international retirement before the World Cup.

Vunipola sustained his injury in the first half hour of Saracens’ Champions Cup triumph over Leinster in Newcastle and is set to face three months out, with England flying out to Japan in four.

The June 2 Twickenham double-header also sees the Barbarians women’s side line up against the Red Roses. Included in Baa Baas women’s team are England greats Rochelle Clark, Tamara Taylor and Danielle Waterman, as well as five Women’s World Cup winners from New Zealand.

WATCH: Part six of The Academy, the RugbyPass documentary series on the Leicester Tigers

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Marler's Barbarians call-up will generate England intrigue