Eddie Jones insists Joe Marler will still be considered for future selection despite withdrawing from England’s Six Nations squad to be with his family during the coronavirus pandemic.
Marler was named in the 28-strong group that has gathered at St George’s Park but pulled out earlier this week with the defending champions set to spend two months in their bubble environment, leaving camp only during the fallow weeks.
The Harlequins prop chose not to tour Australia in 2016 following a turbulent season and two years later he announced his international retirement, only to reverse the decision ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
“Joe has made a decision that we 100% support,” Jones said at the virtual Six Nations launch.
“When he decides to make himself available again we will have another look at selection. And that’s how we look at it – 100%. No ifs or buts, it’s as clear as day. There will be some time in the future when he’s ready to come back and will get selected. We’ll take that when it comes.
“Joe has been an outstanding player during my time with England and I’m sure he was outstanding before that. He is tough, abrasive, a good defender, a great guy off the field. He’s a bit nutty, but we like that, it’s good to have characters like that in the squad.”
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