Six Nations

'Fast healer' Marler delights England

2017-01-31 12:20
Joe Marler (Getty Images)

London - England received a boost ahead of their defence of the Six Nations, with prop Joe Marler set for an extraordinary comeback for the Grand Slam champions against France on Saturday.

Marler was informed he would be out of action for five weeks after withdrawing from the warm-up of Harlequins' win over Sale on January 7 with what turned out to be a fractured leg.

That ought to have ruled him out of the first two rounds of the Six Nations but Marler was back in training with England during their recent warm-weather camp in Portugal and now the loosehead prop is in contention to start the opening match against France at Twickenham.

"Joe is looking good and has been taking a full part in training," England forwards coach Steve Borthwick said Monday.

"He's a fast healer. He's done really well, he has been incredibly diligent in terms of doing everything he can to get fit. That's great credit to him," said the former England captain.

Marler's return to fitness is timely given Mako Vunipola, the man who has displaced him as England's first-choice loosehead, is likely to miss the whole of the Six Nations with a knee injury.

"It's great that we have that competition for places at loosehead and we're trying to build that in every single position," explained Borthwick.

"We want top international players competing hard and pushing each other. That's what Joe and Mako did last year.

"There have been a couple of knocks and bangs since, but it's great to have players of that quality."

There was further welcome injury news for England with back-row forwards James Haskell (foot) and Jack Clifford (chest) both given the all clear to face France.

Haskell's lack of recent match time, however, means Tom Wood is likely to remain at openside flanker when England coach Eddie Jones names his side on Thursday.

Nathan Hughes is set to be in at No 8 in place of the injured Billy Vunipola rather than Clifford.

Meanwhile the England squad marked Jones's 57th birthday on Monday by presenting the Australian with a non-slip bathroom mat.

Defence coach Paul Gustard made the presentation after Jones attended last week's official Six Nations launch in London sporting a severely-bruised left eye.

Jones explained his injury by saying he had slipped in the bathroom of his hotel while getting out of a shower.

Read more on:    england  |  six nations  |  joe marler  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Who will win the 2017 Six Nations title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.