Joe Marler: England prop given stern warning over discipline by Eddie Jones
Prop Joe Marler says he has been given a stern warning regarding his discipline by England boss Eddie Jones.
The Harlequins player has missed four internationals this season through suspension, but is set to make his return against Scotland in a fortnight.
Marler, 27, says Jones “wasn’t a happy bunny” after he was handed a six week ban in January.
“I think his patience is wearing thin, from what I’ve been told directly,” he told the Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
Marler has been one of a handful of England players unavailable so far this Six Nations because of either injury or suspension.
But his availability for the Calcutta Cup match has coincided with a return for number eight Nathan Hughes and flanker James Haskell, with the trio named in a 32-man squad to prepare for the Murrayfield fixture.
The England Under-20 pair of back row Sam Moore and wing Gabriel Ibitoye, both 19, have also been included as “apprentice players”, but injury keeps Exeter number eight Sam Simmonds out.
Following the 12-6 victory over Wales, England head coach Jones was in combative mood, railing against the media for the perceived criticism of some players, especially full-back Mike Brown.
“I find it quite funny – it’s just something different – because you hear a lot of cliches in the media,” Marler said.
“Eddie had a point to make [following the Wales game], and he made it. Support from someone as experienced and well-known as Eddie is always going to help.”
Georgia scrummaging ‘way to test us against best in world’
Marler himself has been given public backing by Jones when it comes to his discipline, but the prop says the messages can be franker behind closed doors.
“I won’t go into too much of it, but he wasn’t a happy bunny [following the latest ban] and he made it very clear to me – he didn’t need to make it publicly,” Marler added.
England will spend two days this week scrummaging against the Georgia forwards, which Marler feels could be a stepping stone on the way to becoming the number one side in world rugby.
“It’s a way for Eddie to test us, and a way for us to test ourselves against the best pack in the world when it comes to scrummaging,” he said.
“Ultimately, it comes down to [the question of] do we think scrummaging against Georgia is a good way to improve and keep striving to our goal of winning the World Cup and being the best side in the world? Yes.
“It’s going to be tough, but it’s something to look forward to.”