Joe Marler clarifies comments on avoiding England duty

Joe Marler recently announced retirement from international rugby
Joe Marler recently announced retirement from international rugby

Harlequins prop Joe Marler clarified his comments that he tried to get banned intentionally to avoid going on England duty due to anxiety.

Marler recently announced his retirement from international rugby following the conclusion of the recent training camp in Bristol to spend more time with his family.

The 28-year-old had earlier told the The Rugby Pod that he will be "looking for outs" to avoid England duty but later clarified that it was not done deliberately.

"The anxiety I would get about having to leave and go away again would manifest itself in giving away more dull penalties and looking for outs, looking for a yellow card, looking for a red card, because if I could pick up a ban, that's an easy way out without actually pulling the trigger.

"After that game [against Bristol last month], I said: 'I can't keep doing this. It's not fair on my family; it's not fair on the club'."

Marler had earlier missed some games for England in Six Nations and autumn internationals due to bans.

However, Marler went to social media to clarify his comments that his behaviour was affected by impending England call-ups and the bans were not deliberate.

"I would like to clarify my comments on @TheRugbyPod this morning that have been taken out of context. I have never deliberately done anything on a rugby pitch – or off it – to get a ban.

"I was simply reflecting on my occasional irrational behaviour when England camps were looming and trying to understand my actions a little bit better".