Marler becoming key figure for England

Joe Marler
Joe Marler

Despite England’s defeat to world champions New Zealand in the three-match series, Joe Marler has been a bright light for England in their efforts down under.

The prop, from Eastbourne, has made a name for himself among the England ranks, racking up 21 caps so far.

While England have come up short, the experience against the All Blacks has surely been invaluable for the 23-year-old former Hellingly prop, who is growing with experience.

The series currently stands at 2-0 to New Zealand after Stuart Lancaster’s side narrowly lost out 28-27 on Saturday in Dunedin.

They suffered a 20-15 defeat in the first Test, and only one final game remains for England to claw back a consolation win over an All Blacks outfit who are on an astonishing run, and remain unbeaten since losing to England in December 2012.

Marler, who plays his club rugby at Harlequins, turned heads at the start of his senior career with his outlandish haircuts.

But he’s since established himself as a world-class player, and showed he’s a reliable set-piece player at both club and international level.

So far in both Tests he’s been trying to snap the aura of invincibility surrounding New Zealand.

Although the All Blacks have taken the series, Marler will have another opportunity to show just how far he’s come on Saturday in Hamilton.