Joe Marler “exceptional” in contention for the World Cup
England head coach Eddie Jones has revealed mainstay Joe Marler wants to be part of their plans for the 2023 World Cup in France.
Jones made a number of interesting decisions ahead of a three-day training camp starting today (Sunday), leaving out experienced brothers George Ford and Vunipola, Billy and Mako.
These three could return to contention ahead of the World Cup, but that depends on how they improve over the next few months.
Marler was included, however, despite turning 31 and retiring from the Six Nations in January for family reasons, his destructive role in Quins’ Premiership title triumph is proof of a player operating at the peak of his powers.
Refresh the team
âIt’s all about getting ready for the World Cup. If we kept the same team, the same team would be too old for the next World Cup. We know that so we had to refresh the squad, âJones said.
âI had a chat with Joe, we went for coffee in Horsham, we had a little chat and he wants to be a part of it.
âHis form at the end of the season was exceptional. His effort in the Premiership final and the semi-final was superb.
âHe’s in good shape and he wants to be a part of it and wants to give it a chance. We’ll see how we do it.
âBut he’s going to have to compete fiercely because there are good players here. Ellis Genge, Bevan Rodd and Beno Obano all did brilliantly this summer.
In preparation for Tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa this fall, Marler will work with Richard Cockerill for the first time.
Cockerill, the fiery former England and Leicester hooker who once watched Norm Hewitt during the All Blacks’ Haka, was recruited by Jones to help shape the attackers following his release by Edinburgh.
âRichard has a good record,â Jones said. âHe won trophies at Leicester. In Leicester, he’s done everything from driving the bus to being director of rugby. He has a good range of experience and is a proud Englishman.
âWhen we introduced him to the coaches meeting, one of the others took a clip of him and the Hakaâ¦ when he approached the tall Norman Hewitt and faced him.
âHe tells the story of when Martin Johnson came to see him afterwards. I can’t repeat what he said, but it was pretty funny.
Manu Tuilagi hopes hard work pays off this season
Sale Sharks and England center Manu Tuilagi is determined to put his injury issues in the past as he seeks to thrive in the Premiership this season.
Tuilagi, 30, has entered his second full season with the Sharks, and his third term overall, but injuries and the Covid pandemic have hampered his progress.
âI just want to be able to play and I’m happy that we have a full preseason. It has been difficult, but a lot of work has been done and it is nice to be able to do it together, as a team, knowing that we have worked hard, âhe said.
âMe personally with the injuries I have had, I take it day to day and am grateful that I can do what I can. It’s a bonus for me to do what I love and not many people can do it. I really like to play rugby.