Joe Marler insists he is a dying breed of prop due to his concern that lawmakers want to drive scrums out of the game.
Marler starts England’s non-cap international against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday believing he must become a more complete player if he is to remain relevant.
The Harlequins loosehead’s expertise lies in the set-piece, work-rate and in defence, whereas other players in his position such as international teammates Mako Vunipola and Ellis Genge offer a more dynamic threat around the pitch.
“I don’t want to scrum as often as possible, but I do like that part of the game, otherwise I’d be a different position and I’d be s*** at that,” Marler said.
“I love a scrum, but I’m also starting to appreciate that the game is always changing and they’re trying their hardest to put props who like scrummaging out of a job.
“Instead, they are putting emphasis on props getting the ball out of the scrum as quickly as possible.
“I appreciate that, but if you have an advantage there, you need to be allowed to make the most of that – not just in this game, but in general.
“I don’t want it to go too rugby league otherwise I’ll have to go and find a turfing job or something.
“I’m not accusing anyone of trying to take us out of the game, but they want a more attractive brand of rugby and the majority of people see that without scrums and I think: ‘You b*******’.
“I do feel a little bit like an endangered species. I’m just clinging on at the moment. The game is evolving so I have to evolve. I’m still trying to work that one out.”
So it seems like Marler is genuinely fearing for his rugby future, and you can see why.
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