Joe Marler’s decision to rule himself out of the England summer tour to Australia comes as no major surprise.
After 2 recent bans the Harlequins prop has decided to step back from the game and give himself time to get his head and body in shape for the start of next season.
The furore surrounding his ban for verbally abusing Samson Lee during the Six Nations has clearly got to him, and provided ammunition for any opposition players who want to put him off his game.
That was a factor taken into consideration after his offence of kicking Grenoble’s Arnaud Heguy in the head. The 2 week ban he received seems light but the disciplinary panel took into account the abuse he had received during that game.
Eddie Jones seems to have taken it on board without any panic.
“Joe played brilliantly during the Six Nations and he will be a big loss in Australia. He’s a young man with a very bright future.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll use this time wisely and come back feeling refreshed and ready to be part of England again.”
Marler will be missed by England. For a while now it’s been a close fought battle between him and Mako Vunipola for the starting Loose Head spot. Both have their strong points and they are a way ahead of other English players.
I’m sure Matt Mullan will relish the opportunity to go down under and face the Wallabies, and who knows, a few good performances and Marler might find it hard to win back the shirt.