Joe Marler should remain an England starter
Joe Marler, should start for England all the time says David Flatman.
Ex-England prop David Flatman admits he would hand the Red Rose No.1 jersey to Joe Marler at every possible opportunity. England have won all three of their Six Nations games so far, their latest victory a 21-10 success against Ireland at Twickenham.
Marler was back in the starting XV at rugby HQ on Saturday, having started the opener against Scotland only to be among the replacements for the trip to Italy. In his place Mako Vunipola was handed a starting role, with both players putting their case forward to new coach Eddie Jones that they should be England’s go-to loosehead.
While Flatman, who earned eight England caps before turning his hand to punditry, believes Jones is in an enviable position to pick between the two, he knows exactly who he would punt for.
Harlequins' Joe Marler has 40 England caps to his name and is only 25 years old “I think it’s an interesting one with Mako and Joe as there isn’t really an awful lot to choose between them in the scrum,” said Flatman. “They are definitely the top guys in the country so they are the right two to have in the squad, it’s just who is better at starting and who is better off the bench.”
“I’ve always thought Mako is better off the bench to be honest, because he is a bit more expressive and a bit more comfortable with the ball in hand, whereas Joe is more of a defensive prop.”
“Along with James Haskell he is one of the best tacklers in the team and he came off the bench against Italy and was brutal, smashing people in defence with powerful carries as well.”
“So Joe has proved a lot of people who say he cannot be an impact player wrong, as he clearly definitely can, but he probably doesn’t want to be an impact player.” “Both will want to start but to be honest you could chop and change them every week and it wouldn’t make that much difference really for England.” Flatman believes Marler and a new-look England haven’t put a foot wrong as they sit pretty atop the Six Nations table.
“They’ve won three games now,” he added. “Of course there is always still work to be done, but it has been a pretty pinch yourself start to be honest. “They haven’t really done a huge amount that has been different from the last era, but Eddie Jones has only had a few weeks with them.” “So you can’t expect miracles and I think it will be a good while before you actually see the sort of team he’s trying to put together, but in the meantime they are learning his ways.”
“They are also learning the ways of Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard, but as they’re learning, they’re winning so far, so things are good.”
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