Joe Marler says he would be willing to interrupt his international retirement during the World Cup if England were facing an injury crisis. The Harlequins loosehead prop called time on his international career last year in order to spend more time with his family, a decision he certainly does not regret.
However, Mako Vunipola faces a race against time to be fit for this year’s World Cup in Japan after undergoing surgery on a troublesome hamstring injury and, although he is expected to be available, he will be short of match practice.
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England’s other options at loosehead prop include Ellis Genge, Ben Moon, and Alec Hepburn, although they are rookies compared to 59-cap Marler, who admits he would answer any potential SOS call from coach Eddie Jones. “If they needed me to go out there and help them out, I’d have the conversation with my wife and think about it and say ‘yeah all right, I’ll help you out’,” Marler said.
Marler does not feel it will come to that, however, as he believes Genge, Moon and Hepburn are all capable of filling any potential void left by Vunipola. “If it was an SOS scenario it would definitely be something I’d consider, but they’re not in an SOS scenario,” the 28-year-old added. “Mako will be sweet, they’ve got Ben Moon, they’ve got Ellis Genge, they’ve got Alec Hepburn. They’ll go well.”