Marler: Australia win 'put some demons to bed'
November 6, 2013
Joe Marler looks set to play some part in Saturday's game against Argentina © Getty Images
England loose-head Joe Marler has revealed the win over Australia on Saturday has helped put "some demons to bed" and is keen to push on against the Pumas this weekend.
Marler is in the mix to face Argentina on Saturday and will vie with Alex Corbisiero for the loose-head spot after Mako Vunipola, who started against the Wallabies, was released to his club as he is nursing a ligament strain.
Last year, Marler endured a tough day against the Wallabies as England crashed to a 20-14 defeat at Twickenham. But fast-forward 12 months and the Harlequins prop was on the right end of the scoreboard.
It was an important result for Marler. At the end of the match, when some of Marler's team-mates were hugging each other in jubilation, the Harlequins prop, who came on in the 54th minute for Vunipola, stood with his hands on his head taking the moment in.
"It was great to get the win," Marler told ESPN. "It was obviously a tough first-half both teams didn't play much rugby. We dug deep and pulled it out of the bag.
"For me personally it was about putting some demons to bed from the year before. I played them at Twickenham and I made the mistake of playing on after sustaining an MCL injury just 10 minutes in. That did not do myself any favours."
A tough match against Wales in the Six Nations followed for both Marler and country as England floundered in the Millennium Stadium. That loss has been mentioned as one motivating factor driving England in the autumn series, but for Marler "it has been and gone".
Unlike the British & Irish Lions contingent in the England side and those rested for the summer tour, Marler had a chance to put things right when he came up against Argentina in June. Stuart Lancaster's men won back-to-back Tests against the Pumas and a host of the younger members of the Elite Player Squad shone for England, Marler included.
But Marler is fully aware of the threat the Pumas will pose this weekend as they bring back a host of their stellar names who missed out the Test in June. Marler, who revealed to us he has stopped dying his hair due to worries the bleach is harming his hairline, added: "It was good, a great tour to be a part of. We'll be looking at a different opposition in terms of the personnel they were missing in the summer.
"They rested 15 or so players in the summer ahead of the Rugby Championship and they will have a lot of their first string players back for this weekend which will make things different and interesting.
"They are a proud and passionate country. They love their scrum, love their mauls and they're certainly in the top two or three scrums in the world at the moment. The boys are looking forward to the challenge."
Joe Marler plays some Jenga alongside Dave Attwood and Christian Wade © RFU
Joe Marler was representing the England team at Bracknell RFC for the launch of NatWest RugbyForce 2014. The programme, developed in partnership with the RFU, is designed to make rugby clubs stronger businesses by improving and renovating their facilities with the support of the local community. To register your club for NatWest RugbyForce go to: www.rfu.com/natwestrugbyforce
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Tom Hamilton is the Assistant Editor of ESPNscrum.