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Author Topic: Marler  (Read 1167 times)

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« on: Wednesday 10-Oct-2018, 22:30* »
Good interview with him in The Telegraph tonight.

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Quinten Poulsen

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Re: Marler
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 11-Oct-2018, 08:35* »
Link doesn't work.
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Quicker Quin

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Re: Marler
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 11-Oct-2018, 08:46* »
Is it behind a paywall?


Fearless Fred

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Re: Marler
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 11-Oct-2018, 09:07* »
It's a paywall of sorts. You can register for free & be able to read a limited number of Premium articles a month. Any more than that & you have to pay. Apparently the Torygraph is moving more & more of its' articles to Premium (including Rugby ones) to try to close a revenue gap.


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Re: Marler
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 11-Oct-2018, 09:33* »
Good old Olly!
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Re: Marler
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 11-Oct-2018, 10:30* »
'This has been building for at least two years... I've never felt I belonged with England':
Joe Marler opens up about retirement from international rugby

Joe Marler has revealed that the state of anxiety about playing for England which forced him into announcing his retirement from international rugby a fortnight ago has been an ever-present since he made his debut against South Africa in 2012.

The Harlequins prop hopes that opening up about the stresses that caused him to turn his back on such prestigious as well as lucrative involvement with England will encourage other players to feel able to express their innermost feelings. The decision of the 28-year-old to forsake his England career only 12 months out from the World Cup in Japan sent shock waves through a sport which has been battling with issues of player welfare and burnout. Marler shares those concerns but insists that his particular situation was unique.

“Potentially there are other boys that will not cope with things and there has to be a breaking point,” he said. “That much is bleedin’ obvious. But it’s not for me to be at the head of that. This is about me and my family. I want to be a half-decent dad [to son, Jasper, four and daughter, Maggie, two]  and things couldn’t go  on the way  they were.

“This has been building for at least two years and, in truth, I’ve never felt I belonged with England, that I should be there. Even before my debut on the tour to South Africa six years ago, I didn’t know if I would be able to go through  with it.

“I’ve never taken myself seriously, rugby has always been about enjoyment and suddenly, hey, this was serious stuff. True, I did work my t--- off to get there, and I like to think I continued to do so. But there would be huge anxiety as anything to do  with England approached. There would be terrible mood swings, at home and at the club. The coaches would spot it a mile off. I’d be a real negative influence. They told me I had the capacity to do evil or to do good. No prizes for guessing which it was.

 Marler called time on his England career with the Rugby World Cup in Japan just a year away
Marler called time on his England career with the Rugby World Cup in Japan just a year away CREDIT: PA
“At home, I’d be distant, my mind miles away. My wife, Daisy, has long said I needed to sort it out. It was an endless cycle, of tension, grumpy mood, feeling down, being a d------- on the field at times. I’d been ducking the real issue. It’s been a huge relief to get it all off my chest.

“And I’d encourage anyone to speak out if they’ve got feelings about something. Get it out there. We all have dark times occasionally. In the macho world of rugby, it can be seen as a sign of weakness to be emotional and honest. It’s not.”

Marler is many things: a character, a tough nut, a family man (hence his retirement), witty, truculent, outspoken, lairey, irreverent, a closet sensitive soul, a recidivist (several bans for various offences), and a high-quality international prop. Oh, and one more thing. He is entirely normal. That he has had his issues, (and let us put the suspensions to one side – Martin Johnson, remember, had a few of those and he is a national icon) is no different to many other individuals in any walk of life.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. One in four people at any given time suffer from a variety of problems, some deep-rooted, some fleeting but no less overwhelming. Marler is the norm, not the exception, part of the pack in all senses.

People speak of Marler as being something of a non-conformist. He is anything but. Non-conformists do not sweat and toil or follow micro-managed conditioning programmes to get to the top of their trade, as Marler has done.

Christian Day, the former Northampton lock who is chairman of the Rugby Players’ Association, tweeted yesterday: “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

 Marler was handed a two match ban and £20,000 fine for his ‘Gypsy Boy’ slur towards Wales prop Samson Lee
Marler was handed a two match ban and £20,000 fine for his ‘Gypsy Boy’ slur towards Wales prop Samson Lee CREDIT: CHRISTOPHER PLEDGER
Marler has expressed publicly his own inner anxieties on two high-profile occasions, initially in the wake of his “Gypsy Boy” slur towards Samson Lee, the Wales prop, in 2016 which earned him a two-match ban and £20,000 fine from World Rugby. The furore weighed heavily and caused him to withdraw from England’s tour to Australia that summer, later stating that he “kept thinking the whole world was against me”. He said on Wednesday: “That was a big turning point, there was such a lack of enjoyment which was why I pulled out of the tour. It was something I’d never experienced before. There’s no textbook about how to deal with being banned for a racist comment in a rugby match.”

And now this, his decision to retire from international rugby. It was made in all sincerity, yet what should have been a moment of closure somehow spun off in another direction when comments that the pressure which caused him to act irrationally on the field, giving away penalties, even picking up yellow or red cards, were deemed to portray him as wilful and subversive.

Journalists were accused of spinning a story that reflected poorly on Marler.

“I had no issue with the words attributed to me because I did say them,” Marler said. “It wasn’t me that complained. The stories were fine. There was a real fuss about it. But I didn’t ever set out to get sent off. It was more me trying to make sense retrospectively of what was going on in my head, which was a bit of a mess.

“It was anxiety and uncertainty and all that. It’s hard to explain what’s in your head, isn’t it? I’m not the easiest of blokes at times. I know that. Down the years I have been a prat at times – those [Mohican] haircuts, gobbing off, red cards – yeah, guilty. It was when, Olly Kohn [the former Harlequins lock], who was known as Fisherman’s Friend as he was nice to everyone, told me that I was being a bit of a d--- that the penny finally dropped. Olly broke down that barrier.

“I like to think I’ve developed a bit of self-awareness since then. It was cathartic. That’s a big word for me. But it’s the right one. ”

 Marler is happy that he will no longer have to leave his young family for weeks on end
Marler is happy that he will no longer have to leave his young family for weeks on end CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Marler plays down the significance of his contribution to the England cause over the last six years yet there is little doubt that the double-act with Mako Vunipola on the loosehead gave the team world-class options.

“Look, I’m not the best at this or that, passing or technical stuff but I can make myself a real pain out there for the opposition, making them bad at what they’re trying to do because of what I’m doing to them,” said Marler. “Physicality is my game. I know that I could probably carry on doing as I have been doing. I’ve still got that ability. But I’d be pretending. And that’s cheating everyone – me, the team, England, all of it. Eddie [Jones] knew how I saw things. He’d seen it in 2016 and I think I earned a bit of respect for my honesty.” 

The humour and self-deprecation is never far away with Marler, part pantomime villain, part proud family man, part a whole jumble of other influences. He is based back in his home town of Heathfield, doing a three-hour round-trip commute to Harlequins’ base in Guildford.

Marler is looking forward to taking Jasper to one of England’s November Test matches. And, yes, he has run through all of the scenarios, wondering how he will feel watching England face the All Blacks on Nov 10, or seeing England possibly lift a World Cup in Japan next year, responding, too, to people asking him why he had given up potential earnings of £500,000.

“How do you know you’re going to have regrets until you’re in that situation?” said Marler. “I don’t know how I’m going to feel. Only my mother-in-law has tried to talk me out of it, speaking about those possible regrets. Rugby has never been about the money. I’m well paid, thank you very much.

“Eddie knew that there was no discussion to be had. This is me, mind made up, really looking forward to the future, giving it a real good crack with Harlequins, my sole competitive focus now, and no more having to wave goodbye to the family for months. It’s been stressful and now it’s out there. I’m happy with it.”

Joe Marler is supporting the Movember Foundation and Harlequins Foundation’s Be a Man of More Words campaign to raise awareness of men’s mental health and stop men dying too young
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Re: Marler
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 11-Oct-2018, 13:37* »
I am sure we wish him all the best and hope he plays for Harlequins for many more years.  I just love watching Joe and I hope he realises how much he is loved by us Quins. 
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Fearless Fred

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Re: Marler
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 11-Oct-2018, 13:46* »

Chipstead Quin

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Re: Marler
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 11-Oct-2018, 13:57* »
Reading this reminds of the difficult time that Marcus Trescothick went through 10 years ago with England cricket ,  but did nothing about it until he had a total meltdown  , seems like Joe realised he had an issue and has fronted up and dealt with it . Full credit to him for that .
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Re: Marler
« Reply #9 on: Thursday 11-Oct-2018, 16:33* »
It's a good article. Very open and honest from Joe. It's a shame he has the issues as I think he will be missed by England but I hope he gets the help and support he needs.

Quinten Poulsen

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Re: Marler
« Reply #10 on: Thursday 11-Oct-2018, 16:47* »
Cheers DOK


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Re: Marler
« Reply #11 on: Friday 12-Oct-2018, 10:47* »
This is not the solution to Joe's problems but it is a good start. Admitting publicly that you have an issue and getting support is a big step on the road to a better place.

Sorry, went all a bit Zen there, but you know what I mean :)
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Re: Marler
« Reply #12 on: Friday 12-Oct-2018, 13:22* »
Yes, some of us have been to that dark place, temporarily in my case, talking about it is very therapeutic. Top respect to Joe for his publication of his views.
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