Joe Marler said England have no fears as they prepare for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia.
Marler came out of test retirement at the end of the last season to join up with Eddie Jones’ England squad, who are well rested for the clash in Oita having had their final pool game against France abandoned due to Typhoon Hagibis.
The 29-year-old Marler was part of the England team that did not reach the last eight in 2015, but believes the 2019 squad are better equipped to embrace the challenges of knockout rugby.
“I don’t think it’s pressure. The group has now got a mind-set of ‘bring it on – bring on the challenges’,” he told reporters.
“We embrace it and look forward to it as opposed to shying away from it.
“I have been involved in teams who have let nerves overcome them, caved in and allowed them to become negative. I don’t feel that in this group. The boys embrace the nervousness and use it as a positive energy to drive us on.”
Forwards coach John Mitchell says @bvunipola will be “chomping at the bit” to be fully fit for Saturday’s #ENGvAUS clash in Oita: https://t.co/nTxZSnRXqm #RWC2019 #CarryThemHome pic.twitter.com/lBQOJh230j
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 15, 2019
Marler had retired from internationals in 2018 due to family reasons but could not resist the opportunity to win a World Cup with England, having been called into the squad for the showpiece tournament in Japan.
“That was part of the reason I came out of retirement. I could see the potential in this group and I wanted a taste of that. That’s ultimately what’s driving me on for the next couple of weeks,” he added.
“It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to work my buns off to try and get back to an emotional and mental state capable of contributing to the squad the best I can.
“And the physical state too. That has been even harder. You come out of it for a year and you forget how fast they do everything.”
KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta