Marler withdraws from England squad

Date published: May 18 2016

Harlequins and England prop Joe Marler has made himself unavailable for selection ahead of the Wales and also the three-Test tour to Australia.  

Marler, who would have been selected in Eddie Jones’ tour squad, has instead decided to take the opportunity to rest ahead of next season.

"Joe played brilliantly during the Six Nations and he will be a big loss in Australia," Jones said in an official RFU release.

"Joe knows better than anyone what it takes to be part of a winning international team and he obviously doesn’t feel like he’s quite there at the moment. We fully support Joe’s difficult decision and admire his honesty.

"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 played a part in all five matches of England's Six Nations Grand Slam campaign but was later banned for two matches and fined following an altercation with Lee.  

The 25-year-old, who has been capped 42 times by England, also received a two-week ban in April after committing an act of foul play during Harlequins' win over Grenoble in the Challenge Cup.

"It has been a very enjoyable but sometimes difficult season," Marler said.

"After speaking to Eddie in Brighton I have decided that the best thing for me is to take a rest and not go to Australia.

"Whenever you play for England you have to be 100% and unfortunately I’m not in that place at the moment.

"It’s not a decision I’ve come to lightly, but I feel I would be letting my teammates and my country down if I were to tour.

"I think a short rest will really help me recharge my batteries so I can start next season with the energy and focus that’s needed to perform at the highest level."

England play Tests in Brisbane, Melbourne as well as Sydney and Marler, who won the Grand Slam earlier in the year, wished his team mates good luck down under.

"I wish my team mates the very best in Australia in what is a hugely exciting and challenging series for England."