Rugby Union

Joe Marler admits unease over captaincy role

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New Harlequins captain Joe Marler admitted his apprehension after taking over the role from Chris Robshaw, reports BBC Sport.

The 24-year old conceded he was daunted by replacing Robshaw as he steps in to unchartered territory ahead of the new season.


Marler did however reveal his pride in being given the captaincy, and he told BBC Sport: "I'm nervous, very apprehensive about it.

"It might not sink in until it is gone. The more I think about it the more honoured and proud I am."

The prop hasn't captained a side since under-18 level but will lead the Quins into battle as they bid to improve on last season's semi-final exit at the hands of eventual runners-up Saracens.

"Sarries is the game I look forward to the most, because there is a good rivalry and I don't particularly like them," he added.

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Despite the honour of leading the team out in the Aviva Premiership this season, Marler insisted he wants to be in the side on merit - not just because he is now the captain.

"I suppose the thing I am most nervous about is making sure I deserve my place. That's the biggest thing," he said.

"I'll say what is needed to be said and I won't say stuff for the sake of it."

World Cup looms

The main reason the relatively inexperienced Marler - who has 22 caps at international level - was given the nod was because Robshaw was relieved of his duties to ensure he is totally focused on the World Cup, which takes place in England next year.

Yet Marler revealed he will still be calling on the England star for advice as he prepares to lead the side for the first time in his career.

He said: "He's led the club to three trophies in the past four or five years and it's been our most successful period, so they are big boots to fill.

"With him being the senior guy with England it's a bit daunting, but he is a great guy and character and someone that is always willing to help."

Quins are looking in good shape ahead of the new campaign, and they travel the short distance to face London Irish on Saturday.

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