‘Everything is hunky dory’ – Marler

Date published: August 24 2016

England loosehead prop Joe Marler believes "everything is hunky dory" from a mental side as he prepares for the new season with Harlequins.

The 26-year-old, who was slapped with a £20,000 fine after calling Wales tighthead prop Samson Lee "Gypsy boy", is now set for 2016/17.

After being found guilty the prop was also handed a two-week ban and later in the season given another for kicking a Grenoble front-rower.

He then decided not to take part in England's tour to Australia, which they won 3-0, and feels he made the right decision for his mindset.

"I was driving home when I was like, 'I don't want to be here'. I just didn't have it in me," Marler told several newspapers in an interview.

"I told [England head coach] Eddie Jones the following day and he was really good about it, wished me luck and that was it.

"I wouldn't want to be running around the field with someone who is there just to pick up a pay cheque. I thought about what I would have thought as a kid if I saw my hero, or a player I looked up to, just going through the motions."

Now refreshed and ready to kick-off the new Premiership season against Bristol, Marler added that he knows further tests are to come.

"Everything is hunky dory at the moment but there's that Mike Tyson quote: 'Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face'," he said.

"Come a week on Saturday against Bristol, I suspect someone might punch me in the face but I can cope with stuff under pressure now that things on and off the field are rosy."