Marler wants England return


Joe Marler feels he is ready to return to England set-up after ruling himself out of contention for the tour to Australia.

The 2015-16 season was one wrought with controversy for Marler, who featured in all five games of the Six Nations as England won the Grand Slam but was later banned for two matches after calling Samson Lee of Wales "gypsy boy".

Upon his return to action, the prop appeared appeared to aim a kick at the head of Grenoble's Arnaud Heguy when representing Harlequins in the European Challenge Cup semi-final, earning himself a two-week suspension.

Marler consequently sought counsel from sports psychologist Jeremy Snape and opted not to make himself available for the June tour to Australia in order to "recharge his batteries".

However, the 26-year-old now wants to return to the England set-up.

"I was loving the Australia tour as a fan - but it also stoked the fire again and the whole point of taking the break was to assess everything - what do I want?" Marler told The Sun.

"There is bags of potential with England, it is exciting and I'd love to be a part of it. I would love to get back into that England squad.

"I am in a brilliant place and enjoying training every day. I had lost that for quite some time."

Marler realised his need for a break following a pre-tour meet up in Brighton in May, admitting he had lost motivation to play.

"It dawned on me when we met up for that camp in Brighton. I was driving back and I was like: 'I don't want to be here'. I just didn't have it in me," he continued.

"It was tough - but not enjoyable tough. I've always enjoyed a challenge, but I was just giving up then.

"I told [head coach] Eddie [Jones] the following day and he was really good about it, wished me luck and that was it. I felt like I could be honest with him.

"I wouldn't want to be running around the field with someone who is there just to pick up a pay cheque. What's the point? People don't want to watch a player who is there not giving their all.

"You want people who put their country's shirt on and want to represent you as a fan. 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. But I just didn't have that in me.

"It was well publicised how much things had built up and how much trouble I was getting myself into. I was just losing control of it all.

"I had a lot of stuff to get to grips with and deal with and I needed that time."