Joe Marler would try to get suspended to avoid England duty 3 years ago

Joe Marler would try to get suspended to avoid England duty

Former England prop Joe Marler has revealed that he would intentionally try to get himself suspended in order to avoid international duty with England.

Marler played 58 times for England between 2012 and 2018 but retired from international rugby last month due to a desire to  to spend more time with his family.

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Marler was named in Eddie Jones' latest England squad for the upcoming November internationals but withdrew after claiming he would not be able to fully commit himself to the national team.

"Being with England you have to spend an incredible amount of time away and I could not do that any more," he said.

"It is an incredible commitment to play rugby for England and I strongly believe that if you are unable to give yourself fully to it then it is time to step away - otherwise it would not be fair on the team, or my family.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to represent my country and of course this has been a very difficult decision to make."

Marler has since revealed that he would intentionally try to receive yellow or red cards with Harlequins in order to avoid selection.

“The anxiety I would get about having to leave and go away again would manifest itself in giving away more dull penalties and looking for outs, looking for a yellow card, looking for a red card, because if I could pick up a ban, that’s an easy way out without actually pulling the trigger,” he told The Rugby Pod.

“I played like an absolute helmet which often happened around England time. That mindset manifested itself. After that (Bristol) game, I said: ‘I can’t keep doing this. It’s not fair on my family; it’s not fair on the club’.”

 

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Marler's retirement follows a string of high profile departures from the England Rugby squad with attack coach Rory Teague, defence coach Paul Gustard, head of sports science Dean Benton and Dan Abrahams, the psychologist, all leaving the squad in recent years.