Former Worthing Raiders and Haywards Heath star Joe Marler quits international rugby

Joe Marler of England, and Harlequins captain sings his autograph on a fans England shirt. Picture by Ron Hill
Joe Marler of England, and Harlequins captain sings his autograph on a fans England shirt. Picture by Ron Hill

England prop Joe Marler is retiring from international rugby at the age of 28.

The former Worthing Raiders and Haywards Heath star says he wants to spend more time with his family.

Marler withdrew from head coach Eddie Jones' latest England squad on Sunday and told BBC Sport: "Being with England you have to spend an incredible amount of time away and I could not do that any more," he said.

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"It is an incredible commitment to play rugby for England and I strongly believe that if you are unable to give yourself fully to it then it is time to step away - otherwise it would not be fair on the team, or my family.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to represent my country and of course this has been a very difficult decision to make."

Marler meets Hastings and Bexhill youngsters

Marler meets Hastings and Bexhill youngsters

The Harlequins player has won 59 England caps since making his debut in 2012 and toured New Zealand in 2017 with the British and Irish Lions. He will continue to play for Harlequins and is available for their Premiership match at Gloucester on Saturday.

England coach Eddie Jones said he was "disappointed" with Marler's decision, describing him as a "great player and team member" and saying England will "miss him".