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The Roar


England prop Marler withdraws from England squad due to Covid

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25th January, 2021

Prop Joe Marler has withdrawn from England’s squad for the entire Six Nations rugby tournament to be with his family during the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, England lock Joe Launchbury will miss the first three rounds after breaking his leg.

Marler ruled himself out on Monday, three days after being named in the 28-man squad.

“Always grateful for the opportunity so not an easy decision, but want to do right by my family in these crazy times and won’t be meeting up with the squad for this tournament,” Marler wrote on Twitter.

“Look forward to watching the team rip in.”

It means England will begin its title defence on February 6 against Scotland without its two main loosehead props after Mako Vunipola suffered an Achilles injury.

Ellis Genge was the only capped loosehead remaining. England coach Eddie Jones summoned Wasps prop Tom West and Bath lock Charlie Ewels.

Launchbury’s fibia stress fracture was cruel timing given that last year he re-established himself in the second row alongside Maro Itoje.

It is hoped he can be available for England’s last two matches against France on March 13 and Ireland on March 20.