Joe Marler: Harlequins prop ready to move on from problems

Joe Marler
Joe Marler has won 42 caps for England

England and Harlequins prop Joe Marler says he "can cope with stuff under pressure now that things on and off the field are rosy".

Marler was fined £20,000 and given a two-week ban for calling Wales' Samson Lee "Gypsy boy" during the Six Nations.

He was then banned for a further two weeks for kicking Grenoble hooker Arnaud Heguy on his return.

He asked to miss England's tour to Australia and says he "spent the entire off-season reflecting on the year".

Speaking about the decision to opt out of the Australian tour, the 26-year-old said: "I was driving home when I was like, 'I don't want to be here'. I just didn't have it in me.

"I told [England 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."

Marler, who has 42 England caps, was also given a formal warning for posting an obscene tweet about former Australia coach Bob Dwyer in June.

Harlequins start their Premiership season against newly promoted Bristol on Saturday, 3 September and Marler feels he is now more capable of dealing with the nature of the sport.

"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 added.

"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."

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