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'Maybe that seems silly... but it keeps me fresher'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Trending on RugbyPass

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Joe Marler has praised the in/out nature of his Guinness Six Nations involvement with England, a flexibility that has enabled him to be at his most energetic when in camp with Eddie Jones’ squad while also keeping everything sweet on the domestic front with his family and at Harlequins. The loosehead has spoken in the past about his mental health and the issues he has had. 


It resulted in him not following through on his England squad selection last season’s Six Nations because of personal reasons. Due to the pandemic restrictions that were in place at the time, no movement in and out of the camp was permitted during the tournament, with none of the squad’s players allowed to go back and play for their clubs in the fallow weeks. 

This scenario resulted in Marler turning down selection after he had been originally named in Jones’ squad. However, he has since returned to the Test fold and aside from his three appearances off the England bench in the wins over Wales and Italy and the loss to Scotland, he has also gone back and started twice for Harlequins in the league as well as having ample time with his young family. 

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The 31-year-old, who made his England debut just short of a decade ago in June 2012, is grateful for the flexible arrangement that has been put in place, enabling him to skip the fallow week training camps in London and Bristol and instead throw everything into his involvement in the England matchweek camps.

“I guess for me the age that I am at now, going in and out, going back to the club, contributing there in the Prem but also going back to my family, it keeps me fresher,” he explained when asked by RugbyPass how much he was enjoying the 2022 Six Nations campaign compared missing out altogether in 2021. 


“Maybe that seems silly because I go back and then play like 75, 80 minutes for the club but it just freshens me up mentally to then go ‘right, I’m back in helping the boys prep for the next game and then I can get home and help with the kids. I don’t want to bore you but my wife had nine days with no power and hot water and all that lot, so trying to deal with that in camp was a bit of a nightmare. 


“If anyone has got any contacts at UK Power Networks that wants to help me with some compensation that would be great. Anyway, I think for me now where I am at I need those little in-and-out breaks and I have enjoyed it. It has kept me fresh to come in and give a bit more energy to the group.”


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