Joe Marler 'never overly comfortable playing top sport'

2019-03-08 | Since 5 Month

Former England prop Joe Marler has described how he had to be talked into reporting for international duty by his wife because of his anxiety over playing top-level sport.

Marler retired from international rugby in September, aged just 28, to spend more time with his family.

"I'd never been overly comfortable playing top, top, level sport," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I'd be like 'I don't want to go away'. She'd say 'you'll be fine, crack on'."

Marler won 59 England caps and was part of the British and Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand in 2017.

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But the Harlequins front row says he never felt at home in such environments, telling the Friday Sports Panel he struggled with "the pressure of it and how intense it could be".

"I usually don't take myself too seriously and you kind of have to do that in international sport, don't you?" he added.

Marler says he came to the decision to end his England career after realising his priorities had gradually changed since getting married to wife Daisy, and the birth of their children Jasper and Maggie.



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