Joe Marler to face no punishment over England suspension comments

first_img … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The timeline of Marler’s recent ill-discipline correlates with impending spells away with England. Marler was named in the England squad to train in Bristol at the start of last week but pulled out for personal reasons on the Sunday before his decision to retire was made public. The day before, during Harlequins’ defeat by Bristol, he received a yellow card for a forearm to the shoulder/head area of the opposing scrum-half, Andy Uren. “I played like an absolute helmet, which often happened around England time,” he added. “That mindset manifested itself. After that game, I said: ‘I can’t keep doing this. It’s not fair on my family; it’s not fair on the club’.”Marler missed England’s Six Nations matches against Italy and Wales last season after he was suspended for six weeks for a dangerous clear-out on Sale’s TJ Ioane and in October 2017 he was banned for three weeks for striking Wasps’ Will Rowlands in a Champions Cup match, forcing him to miss England’s opening match of the autumn against Argentina. In addition, Marler’s spat with James Haskell – for which he received a citing commissioner’s warning – during another match against Wasps last September occurred five days before Eddie Jones named an England training squad.Last week, Marler cited a desire to spend more time with his family as the key driver for his decision, adding that he was unable to fully give himself to the England cause after winning 59 caps across six years. He has also explained that he weighed up the financial benefits of delaying his retirement, with England players receiving around £25,000 per match, but revealed he had given serious consideration to taking the decision before the summer tour of South Africa in June.In 2016, Marler withdrew from England’s summer tour of Australia due to the mental strain that came with the furore over his “Gypsy boy” comment to the Wales prop Samson Lee during the Six Nations a few months earlier. He was eventually banned for two matches and fined £20,000. In his first match back from that ban he picked up another two-week suspension for kicking the Grenoble hooker, Arnaud Héguy, in the head.Marler revealed that because he had previously withdrawn from that tour of Australia his conversation with Jones had been straightforward when informing him of his international retirement. “The relationship which I had with Eddie, based on what I did in 2016 and the Australia tour, he knew that if I had decided something , then that was it,” he said. “I pulled out of that tour. So there wasn’t a lot of chat he could give to change my mind.”In the aftermath of Marler’s announcement last week, the Rugby Players’ Association expressed its concerns that more internationals could follow his lead – a view echoed by the former England captains Phil Vickery and Lawrence Dallaglio, who has championed giving senior players sabbaticals as New Zealand have done in the past. Read more Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Harlequins Joe Marler will not face any disciplinary action from the Rugby Football Union over comments outlining how he used to try to get himself suspended to avoid England duty. It is understood Marler was contacted by the RFU for clarification over his remarks but the matter will not be taken any further.The 28-year-old announced his surprise international retirement last week, less than 12 months before the World Cup, and speaking to The Rugby Pod, he explained how he would seek a way out of England camps. Marler said: “The anxiety I would get about having to leave and go away again would start to manifest itself in giving away even more dull penalties and looking for outs, looking for a yellow card, looking for a red card, because if I could pick up a ban, that’s an easy way out without actually pulling the trigger.”Marler subsequently wrote on social media that his comments had been misinterpreted. “I have never deliberately done anything on a rugby pitch – or off it – to get a ban,” he said. “I was simply reflecting on my occasional irrational behaviour when England camps were looming and trying to understand my actions a little bit better.” Share on Messenger The Breakdown: sign up and get our weekly rugby union email. Reuse this content Since you’re here… Support The Guardian news Share on Facebook Rugby union Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn England rugby union team Joe Marler rocks England’s World Cup plans with international retirement Topicslast_img


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