Joe Marler in ‘different headspace’ after reversing England retirement

‘Things change, don’t they?’: England prop Joe Marler says he’s in a ‘different headspace’ after reversing retirement decision for shot at 2019 World Cup as he trains with Eddie Jones’ squad

  • England prop Joe Marler announced his retirement from Test rugby last year
  • He cited the stress and anxiety of leaving behind his family for Red Rose camps
  • Marler reversed his decision to retire because he wants to play at the World Cup
  • He said: ‘Things change, don’t they? I wanted to come and give it another crack’

England prop Joe Marler has admitted that he is in a ‘different headspace’ after reversing his retirement to have a shot at the World Cup.

Marler hung up his Test boots last year, when he spoke openly about the stresses and anxiety of leaving behind his family for Red Rose camps.

Now the 29-year-old is challenging to make the final 31-man squad for Japan, admitting that the opportunity to return was too good to turn down.

England prop Joe Marler reversed the decision he made to retire from Test rugby last year

Marler pictured stretching during an England training session at the Lensbury Club this week

Twenty-nine-year-old Marler was in a good mood as he trained with his England team-mates

‘Things change, don’t they?’ said Marler. ‘I wanted to come and give it another crack. Why? I missed it.

‘I missed it but I needed to have that step away from it all. It was the right decision for me at the time but I’m in a different headspace now… Fully committed to not being one of the seven who miss out on the 31 places.

‘This is such a huge opportunity, being part of the World Cup, and I felt ready to give it a crack. Before I didn’t feel ready to do that.

‘The World Cup squad’s announced on the 12th of August and I’ll give it 114 per cent.’ 

Competition at looselead prop is tight, with Marler competing for selection with Mako Vunipola, Ben Moon and Ellis Genge.

Head coach Eddie Jones watched on with his arms folded as his players worked out on Tuesday

Maro Itoje was seen sprinting during the England training session held at the Lensbury Club

Exeter Chiefs star Henry Slade was also among the players put through their paces on Tuesday

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