Joe Marler On How The Midweek Lions Spent Their Time On The Absolute Batter
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Proper old school tour.
What did England prop Joe Marler learn this summer from touring with the British & Irish Lions? How to drink apparently.
The colourful character recently sat down with
“I wouldn’t say that,” Marler said when asked if the experience made him a better player.
What did he learn instead? “How to drink,” is his answer in short.
“Rory Best is the one to blame for that,” The Harlequins prop continues.
“He is the one to blame for every time I spoke to my wife on Facetime she said ‘are you pissed again?’ And I was ‘of course not’ so that is probably the biggest thing I learned on that tour.
“It was a different tour particularly for the midweek ‘veg’ as we were labelled but it was really enjoyable. It was more like an old school sort of tour basically. I didn’t expect it – I thought those days are kind of gone now. Everything is ultra professional isn’t it?
“More and more guys coming through like the academy boys and you are going out on a social and there is no one drinking which is completely fine, that is their gig, but that is the way I thought the game was going, but obviously not on a Lions tour. I missed the proper old school a little, I am not that old, but it was very enjoyable to do that sort of thing.”
Their drinking habits however, didn’t detract for the work that needed to be done in the gym and on the pitch.
“That didn’t detract from us working our bollocks off as much as we could because we wanted to be part of a successful Lions tour,” Marler said.
“We wanted the boys to go out there and win 3-0. We trained very hard and we pushed boys in our positions as hard as we could to make sure they were ready for the Tests.”
The midweek lads were well aware at the same time, that midweek lads is all they were going to be. This probably explains the drinking habits!
“We knew pretty early doors what the crack was,” Marler said.
“We knew it would be very hard to play your way into that Test team – you were kind of relying on someone playing their way out of it and hoping you were in a position to go right ‘needed for that spot’.”
All in all though, it’s a tour he will always cherish.
It was genuinely a great group of blokes that had a really good time. My drinking ability had to step up a bit.”
You can read the rest of this brilliant interview in the Telegraph here.