Marler returns when the NatWest Six Nations resumes against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday week after serving a six-week ban for dangerous clearing out of a ruck, his second suspension of this season alone.
Eddie Jones has warned Marler over his conduct, viewing the prop as an important member of the squad while outlining the cost of his absence, especially amid an injury crisis at loosehead.
It is a message that has been accepted knowing that special moments are being snatched away by the short fuse that regularly blows. “I was trying to watch the Wales game, but I couldn’t actually watch it,” said Marler, pictured below. “I got in the car just before kick-off and listened to bits on the radio. I got home for the last five minutes.
“England v Wales is my favourite fixture, the game I love playing in most. I was gutted not being a part of it. Watching the last five minutes, kicking the kids and the wife out of the lounge, I was like ‘You need to leave – I need to watch the telly’. I had to turn In The Night Garden off.
“It sticks with me that I need to knuckle down now because I am missing out on these things that I really want to be a part of.”
Marler has been present for the build-up to England’s wins over Italy and Wales and roomed with James Haskell, the player he feuded with on club duty when Harlequins faced Wasps in September. In a slightly comical spat, Marler pulled off Haskell’s scrum cap and after being thrown to the floor as a result, he squirted water into the back row’s face as he walked away. A further tangle ensued and Haskell, also banned for the start of the Six Nations, was sin-binned.
“It’s awful being in camp but not playing,” Marler said. “Me and Haskell have been up together at the crack of dawn and then been flogged. Rightly so because we deserved a little bit as a punishment.”