England prop Joe Marler’s surprisingly quick recovery from a fractured leg has been put down to an unexpected remedy.
The loosehead, who will start for England against France on Saturday, looked set to miss the bulk of the tournament when his injury was diagnosed last month.
Marler has since been working hard with England’s senior physiotherapist Phil Pask, and downing milk. Gallons of it.
“Your mum or whoever says milk is really good for you and you don’t really believe it until you really need it because you’ve got a broken leg, apparently, so I just drank loads of that,” Marler told reporters.
“I’m not putting it all on that, I’m putting it on Pask as well but yeah, it’s helped, I think.
“There’s lots of calcium in milk, so that helps with the bones. And teeth. That’s not a new thing, it’s been around for thousands of years.
“I started drinking two pints of milk a day, I think it’s something I’ll keep doing because it’s really tasty.
“I always thought green top (semi-skimmed) was good for you because it’s reduced fat but they gave me licence to have blue top (full fat) and the odd day I’d have that gold top (full cream) stuff, the one with like 1,000 calories in one.
“Maybe I won’t carry on with that but blue top, it’s been really good for me.”
As for France, Marler will pack down opposite France’s heavyweight tighthead Uini Atonio and is braced for the La Rochelle front-row’s power.
“Last season’s game against him was the first time I’ve come up against him and there’s some weight there, a lot of weight,” Marler added.
“You have to push harder than him and take the weight to be honest. He’s been operating well at La Rochelle and he’ll come aggressively so you have to battle that. I can’t tell you all my secrets.”