Planet Rugby

O'Shea sings Marler's praises

11th December 2013 13:22

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Joe Marler Harlequins v Gloucester AVP 2013

In fine form: Joe Marler

Harlequins prop Joe Marler is finally receiving the praise he deserves after being made the fall guy for England's loss to Wales last season.

Marler's director of rugby at Harlequins, Conor O'Shea, believes the looshead was criticised unfairly after England's 30-3 loss handed the Six Nations title to Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

England's forward play was called into question after that clash and Marler failed to secure a spot in the British and Irish Lions squad for their tour to Australia.

But Marler has been one of England's outstanding performers, having played in his country's last 10 Tests - including two matches in Argentina and the recent November internationals.

England boss Stuart Lancaster rated Marler the best player during the tour to Argentina and O'Shea is impressed with his performances in four successive Premiership victories and last weekend's 32-8 Heineken Cup win at Racing Metro.

"Joe has played in England's last 10 internationals and has been outstanding," O'Shea told the London Evening Standard.

"He has been unfairly treated and there was an almost ridiculous scapegoating of him after the Wales game .

"If you looked at the match, what happened was nothing to do with him. It was about what the opposition got away with.

"He was magnificent in Argentina and is going to get stronger. We are still going to be talking about Joe in eight to 10 years' time."

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