Anorak News | England players admits getting sent off to avoid playing away from home

England players admits getting sent off to avoid playing away from home

by | 3rd, October 2018

So worried was Joe Marler about playing for England and being away from his family, he tried to avoid the call by getting himself sent off in club matches thus earning a ban. Marler, now retired from international rugby at just 28 and with 58 caps, told The Rugby Pod about the stress of playing top-level sport:

“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. If I could pick up a ban, that’s an easy way out without actually pulling the trigger…”

But doesn’t the club suffer? And what the other players on the receiving end of a red card offence?

“I played like an absolute helmet, which often happened around England time. That mindset manifested itself. After that game, I said, ‘I can’t keep doing this. It’s not fair on my family, it’s not fair on the club.’ ”

Marler is not a slab of rampaging kitted-out meat. He says his behaviour was “irrational”:

“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 better.”

It’s easy to understand. Marler says when he had children his priorities “flipped”. Which reminds me of an old boss in The City who used to command workers to stay late and arrive early. The ones with a loving family were hit hard. He, a single blade, thought them fools. But when he had children, things altered. He realised he’d behaved like a “dick”.  The one difference is that unlike Marler’s story, no married broker struck their manager in the head with an elbow. Opportunities missed…

Here’s Marler:


Posted: 3rd, October 2018 | In: Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink