Joe Marler says he “ would have loved ” the game of chance for the Lions in South Africa, as he was denounced for a Warren Gatland “ save-the-date ” – after admitting that he was sometimes *** was’ on tour from 2017
- Joe Marler says he was ‘gutted’ to fall outside of Warren Gatland’s tour plans
- The 30-year-old was one of the best props in the premier league this season
- The English forward played in Gatland’s squad for a tour of New Zealand in 2017
- But he says it quickly became apparent that he wouldn’t be able to make it to the Test team
English gag Joe Marler says he was ‘gutted’ by Warren Gatland’s plans for this summer’s Lions tour.
Despite being one of the premier league props, Marler was dropped from the save-the-date mailing list before Thursday’s roster announcement.
He played in Gatland’s roster for a tour of New Zealand in 2017, when he was unable to make his way to the Test team.
Harlequins’ Joe Marler was one of the best props in the league this season
“I didn’t receive an email,” Marler said. ‘A little hollowed out. I’m not surprised, but I would have liked to leave.
‘I would have really liked to have approached it differently than in 2017.
“I remember sitting down with Rory Best on that tour. He said he regretted the way he approached 2013 and the memories he had of it.
It was pretty clear from the start that he wasn’t going to make the testing team and he let those feelings get bitter and cloud his enjoyment of the whole experience. And he wanted to make sure the midwives didn’t make the same mistake he did in 2017.
The forward played in Warren Gatland’s squad for the Lions tour of New Zealand in 2017
“There was part of that for me in 2017. It was pretty clear from the start that I wasn’t going to smell the Tests, and I was a bit of a *** at times. I regret having those feelings about it.
‘I still had an incredible experience and friends I made for life. But this time I would have loved to go back and try to help with that. ‘
Marler withdrew from this year’s Six Nations because he didn’t want to spend time outside of his family in a covid-safe bubble.
He added: ‘If you were Warren Gatland, would you go: it’s a pretty tight bubble, nine weeks away, it’s hard enough as it is, do I need someone mentally struggling and away from home? Is that the right person for that tour? Probably not. Could be? Who knows?
“Maybe there are better players than me. There are some pretty good players in the loosehead position, before you have to think about someone who hasn’t played international rugby for 12 months and has taken the form of not being very good at not being away from home. ‘
Marler says he was ‘gutted’ by Gatland’s plans for this summer’s Lions tour