Quins' Marler in England front row to stay

Fine fettle: Harlequins prop Joe Marler is out to cement his place in the England starting line-up

Fine fettle: Harlequins prop Joe Marler is out to cement his place in the England starting line-up

First published in Sport

Quins prop Joe Marler fears he has only been lent the England number one shirt and is out to make it his own this Six Nations.

The 22-year-old was dropped for last year’s autumn international clashes with South Africa and New Zealand, having struggled against Australia earlier in the series.

But the former Richmond College student returned to the starting line-up for Saturday’s 38-18 Calcutta Cup win over Scotland at Twickenham and is there to stay.

“I can stand here and say that every time Alex Corbisiero put on that number one shirt he’s made it his own,” he said.

“He’s been very much the front runner. His injury is a loss to the team, but a massive opportunity for myself and Mako (Vunipola) to keep hold of it for a while.

“Hopefully, he will have to be fighting to take it off one of us.”

England team to face Ireland in Dublin today
15. Alex Goode (Saracens, 7 caps), 14. Chris Ashton (Saracens, 30 caps), 13. Brad Barritt (Saracens, 12 caps), 12. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap), 11. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 12 caps), 10. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 13 caps), 9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 29 caps); 1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 6 caps), 2. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps), 3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 36 caps), 4. Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 5 caps), 5. Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers, 13 caps), 6. James Haskell (London Wasps, 46 caps), 7. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt, 13 caps), 8. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 14 caps).

Replacements: 16. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 43 caps), 17. David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 23 caps), 18. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 5 caps), 19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 16 caps), 20. Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers, 4 caps), 21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 38 caps), 22. Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers, 54 caps), 23. Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 17 caps).

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