Marler: I'll join strike if season is extended

Joe Marler has revealed he would support strike action over proposals to extend the domestic rugby season.

The Harlequins prop fear plans to restructure the Premiership campaign to run from September to June will put players' wellbeing at risk.

England team-mate Billy Vunipola spoke this week of the need for authorities to address the situation, claiming the existing demands of the schedule are taking a toll.

And British and Irish Lions man Marler is in full agreement, with July and November internationals adding to the burden.

"Everyone wants their piece of the pie but there's only so much pie to go around," Marler told the Mail on Sunday.

"I don't want to sound like a wet flannel, but I think the season is at its limit and it could do with some positive restructuring.

"If it was to extend, there has been talk between the boys about some sort of strike or other action and I would be inclined to join that."

A host of Lions stars have been quickly thrust back into Premiership action and, though Marler said he felt fine after his minimal involvement on the tour of New Zealand, the 27-year-old can understand how others may be finding it tough.

"I only had a six-day pre-season, but I'm a bit of an anomaly because my Lions tour was basically a two-month stag do," he said.

"Most of the boys have been managed pretty well by their clubs, but there are some guys who have gone straight back in because clubs understandably want their best players back before they go away again.

"The game's changing. The physical demands are definitely going up."


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