Eddie Jones insists Joe Marler will still be considered for future selection despite withdrawing from England’s Six Nations squad to be with his family during the coronavirus pandemic. Marler was named in the 28-strong group that has gathered at St George’s Park but pulled out earlier this week with the defending champions set to spend two months in their bubble environment, leaving camp only during the fallow weeks.
“Joe has made a decision that we 100 percent support,” Jones said. “When he decides to make himself available again we will have another look at the selection. And that’s how we look at it – 100 percent. No ifs or buts, it’s as clear as day.”
“There will be some time in the future when he’s ready to come back and will get selected. We’ll take that when it comes,” he added. “Joe has been an outstanding player during my time with England and I’m sure he was outstanding before that. He is tough, abrasive, a good defender, a great guy off the field. He’s a bit nutty, but we like that, it’s good to have characters like that in the squad.”
Jones, however, insists England will adapt to the losses. “We have got a number of wonderful players out – Joe Marler, Joe Launchbury, and Underhill, but that just creates opportunities for other players to come in and adds to the team,” Jones said. “It’s a great opportunity for us. As weird as it seems for a head coach to say, it excites me. We are going to have to work a little bit harder, we are going to have found solutions with the new guys coming in and we will have to work harder to get those connections right.”