England mainstay Joe Marler plans to quit rugby after 10-week ban for catching genitals
Joe Marler could step away from the professional rugby barely 29 years old following the incident in England’s Six Nations victory over Wales.
The prop became disillusioned with the game after the punishment caused a vicious social media backlash, after which Marler deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Marler made a name for himself as Eddie Jones’ first-choice freehead in this year’s tournament, but hasn’t returned to the Harlequins since the capture took place.
The ongoing coronavirus lockdown has reportedly given the 2019 Rugby World Cup finalist the chance to spend more time with his family, while presumably thinking about the next step in his career.
The report in the Daily mail suggested the 66-cap international could have been seen in an English jersey for the last time, while questioning whether he would want to return to the public scrutiny that comes with sporting prominence.
England international Danny Care was one of Marler’s many defenders, insisting Alun-Wyn Jones would not have been angry.
He said: “If Wales win this game I don’t think it’s such a big problem.
“Alun Wyn Jones’ reaction after the game is probably a disappointed and angry Alun Wyn Jones – and that’s one way to take out a little anger.
“You could see that there was no mischief, it’s a joke between former teammates.
“I can understand why people saw it badly, you don’t want to see kids seeing it.
“It was in a rugby environment and it happens a lot. I just think this one was very visual. We will all be interested to see what happens.
“We would like to see Joe play as many games as possible for the Harlequins for the rest of the season, he’s a great player.”
In another controversy, Marler tweeted: “B ******. Complete b ******”, before withdrawing his account, with former Wales captain Gwyn Jones dubbing him a “selfish narcissist “.
He said Scrum V: “I think it was an attempt at humor but I don’t think there is any doubt that it was unacceptable to do what he did.”
“I think this is another example of Joe Marler just showing his stupidity.”