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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

'The anxiety I would get would manifest itself' - Joe Marler reaffirms he never tried to incur an England ban

Marler said that comments he recently made about looking for an “easy way out” of England duty were taken out of context.

Former England and Lions prop Joe Marler.
Former England and Lions prop Joe Marler.

JOE MARLER HAS moved to clarify comments that he made about his “irrational behaviour” ahead of England camps by stating that he never tried to get suspended.

The Harlequins prop last week announced his retirement from international rugby at the age of 28 in order to spend more time with his family.

Marler told The Rugby Pod that he used to look for an “easy way out” of reporting for international duty.

He said: “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.”

Marler later took to social media to explain what he was trying to say.

Rugby Union - 2015 RBS Six Nations - Wales v England - Millennium Stadium Marler announced his retirement from international rugby last week aged 28. Source: EMPICS Sport

“I would like to clarify my comments on @TheRugbyPod this morning that have been taken out of context. I have never deliberately done anything on a rugby pitch – or off it – to get a ban,” he tweeted.

“I was simply reflecting on my occasional irrational behaviour when England camps were looming and trying to understand my actions a little bit better.”

Marler added that it has not been difficult to come to terms with the fact that he will not play for his country again.

“It hasn’t felt that hard. It hasn’t felt like a big decision because I’ve been thinking about it for some time,” he added.

“I really enjoyed my time with England but as soon as I had kids, it completely flipped my perspective.”

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